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Father Michael Lapsey

SSM Director, Institute for Healing Memories


Father Michael Lapsley is a South African Anglican priest and social justice activist. He was born in New Zealand on 2 June 1949, and ordained to the priesthood in Australia, where he also joined the religious order the Society of the Sacred Mission. In 1993, he became Chaplain of the Trauma Centre for Victims of Violence and Torture in Cape Town, which assisted the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). This work led to the establishment, in 1998, of the Institute for Healing of Memories (IHOM) in Cape Town. The IHOM aims to allow many more South Africans to tell their stories in workshops where they work through their trauma. The IHOM is based in Cape Town, South Africa, but Fr Michael has worked in many other countries, in Africa and across the world. The organisation now works with groups including those affected by political violence; those affected and infected by HIV and AIDS; refugees and asylum seekers; prisoners and war veterans.