Redeeming the past
In 1990, Fr. Michael Lapsley, an Anglican priest active in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, opened a letter bomb that nearly killed him, Though he survived, the blast took both his hands and one of his eyes. This memoir tells the story of this horrendous event, beginning with the journey that led him there particularly his rising awareness of the radical demands of the gospel and his growing identification with the freedom struggle. But that was not the end of his inspiring journey. In post-apartheid South Africa, Fr. Lapsley saw a whole nation in need of healing. He discovered a new vocation: drawing on his own experience of trauma to promote the healing of others, in South Africa, and ultimately throughout the world.
Alan Michael Lapsley, SSM, known as Father Michael Lapsley, is a South African Anglican priest and social justice activist.
In 1973 he arrived in Durban, South Africa, as an undergraduate student. Soon thereafter, during the height of apartheid repression, he became chaplain to students at both black and white universities in Durban.
In 1976, he began to speak out on behalf of schoolchildren who were being shot, detained and tortured.