God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

03.September 2009 feeling humbled

The last two days were amazing days – so many emails, phone calls, text messages – I even did not know that so many people are following my “case” and were waiting after the cancellation of contract through the German Bishops Conference what will happen to me. Most seemed to have bid, that I will go back to Germany – others thought I will leave the church. Well, both thoughts were quite  real – real threats to my life, but thanks heaven a somehow happy end has been found.
Receiving all this positive messages, I feel indeed humbled and realise once again, what expectations people have. I personally never felt that I am doing something extraordinary but simply what was waiting along my way I picked up – and I had from the start marvellous people assisting in creating HOPE Cape Town. Living in South Africa creates other possibilities as somebody would have in Germany. But I believe that everybody has a chance to pick up a challenge along his way on earth and in doing so, change the course of this world and to assist and help people in need.

I am also a bit scared seeing the expectations of the HOPE Cape Town “family”. HOPE Cape Town is in the phase of restructuring because our possibilities and opportunities have grown so fast and big, that we have to look how to cope with all the workload. So we will add myself and a PA, a personal assistant to join HOPE Cape Town. Grass root work and research are at the ends of our working spectrum, and in between is quite a range of portfolios in need to be covered. Thanks God for the recent addition of Saadeka Williams as a full time HOPE doctor.

Also the Catholic Aids Network is in development. We had a meeting this morning as CAN has now to be registered as a NPO and PBO in South Africa in its own rights. So we met with a lawyer who is willing to do “pro bono” work and assist in getting the constitution right and the applications on the way.

With POZ, the working arm of HOPE Cape Town together with the Justice & Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Cape Town, providing pastoral care for priests, religious and seminarians who are living with the HI virus, there is a whole new area where we have to gain expertise. Today we fixed also our meeting with the secretary of the Papal Council for health care worker in Rome; on the 18.10. we will have a meeting with the Bishop to discuss amongst other topics a possible working relationship in this field. I am very curious to see how they react in the Vatican for such a request of official support. But with or without the support, we have to face realities and we have to tackle them head on. Doing so we are also forced to look into our theology and develop our teaching accordingly. It is indeed a tricky field – but on the other hand: only tricky fields are a real challenge… 🙂

Well, it is time to go to bed – it is 2:46 am in the morning and at 6am a new working day is beginning.

Filed under: General, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Reflection, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HIV, AIDS and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and AIDS in Africa is often a challenge. Living in Africa has also its challenges. On the other hand I feel very much blessed having all the three. So you will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa and essential information and developments in the field of HIV and AIDS. And in between personal stories and thoughts. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me - blogs - "thinking loud" so to speak is a ways of communication and exchange of ideas.

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