wife, mother, educator, animator
Evona is the reason why the CBs in Southern Africa are starting to come across mysterious long strands of brunette hair in their homes. She is their recently appointed flexi-time Edmund Rice Networking Co-ordinator. She is known to many in the international network because she travelled to Vancouver for the 2007 ‘Connecting Spirituality’ Sabbath Experience, to India in 2008 for the Delhi Immersion and the Munnar Chapter, and to Waterford for the Edmund Rice Networking Conference ‘Living the Vision’ in June 2009.
During twenty years teaching in Cape Town’s Catholic schools, she worked with the Christian Brothers in two of their schools. She has also worked in the Catholic Schools Office team and for the Archdiocese in Pastoral Planning. She has a Masters in Educational Leadership from the Australian Catholic University, and has been involved in the formation of Religious Education Teachers for the past ten years, including a programme at St Augustine’s College of South Africa. In 2010 she will be leading a drive to renew and deepen the spirit of Edmund Rice within staffs of the Edmund Network of Schools around South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Here she is, in her own words…
I first came into contact with the charism of Edmund Rice through my work with Christian brothers in my local parish and later at St Columba’s High School in Cape Town in the early eighties where I began my teaching career. Through my work with young people in our Edmund Rice Society I deepened my understanding of the charism.
Initially, I was captivated by the zeal of this pragmatist and teacher. I was inspired by this man who stepped out of his comfort zone to embrace a counter-cultural lifestyle. As I have journeyed further through life, married, had children, experienced loss and joy, I have also come to know other facets of Edmund’s charism. In the context of my own country, I have come to appreciate the Edmund who fought for social justice and empowerment for the most vulnerable.
I have been delighted to find a man, much like our Lord, who needed women to realise his vision. For me, Edmund is a man who lived in intimacy with Jesus Christ, spent his life in pursuit of wholeness, yet often experienced brokenness.
I am blessed to share my life with Alberto, and we parent five children, the youngest being a special-needs child; he has taught us many truths. I believe I am a more loving wife, mother, friend, teacher, and disciple, for having known the remarkable presence of Edmund in my life.
In Southern Africa we are currently embarking on the exciting journey of discerning the way forward for our ERN.