God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

Epistle 2010-25…

…. and it reads: “Father Roland P.  died this afternoon at 3h45 at the Durbanville Medi-Clinic. His requiem Mass will be celebrated at….”

Pictures surface in my mind: the small talk with him during the opening of the Bavarian House during the soccer world cup. His smile which made you think twice whether he was serious or joking, a brilliant mind.. and.. and .. and.

A life is gone, a life came to an end and sitting in the evening in a restaurant with a friend having dinner, the question arose: Is that all what is left from him? Memories? Memories in those who have known him and which will definitely fade away in the then following generation…
A life is gone, a whole world is gone, because Roland was, like everybody else, unique: The way he experienced things will be gone for ever, and with it, everything he experienced: the first rain, the first steps, the first love, the way he worked as a priest and so much more. Gone for ever or taken up into heaven? What kind of heaven? Heaven with eternal praise or eternal love? Should not a priest know this best?

Not sure, but sure I feel somehow somber in this moment and my thoughts are with his family and with himself. It is like his death is touching my life for a while, slowing it down, commemorating it, and also questioning everything what I am doing and how I am living.

Yes, what is the meaning of life? Where do we come from, where do we go to? Philosophical question and very theoretical normally they are suddenly so vivid and alive. But is it really important to know where we will go when we die?  Not even sure about this – but what I know very much so: That I have to live my life as long as I can, that I have only one chance in life to live it to the fullest. And surely: That I don’t know when I will be called to higher services, it has an urgency to live, and to live it as complete and fulfilling as one can. And that means also to accept all grey shadows of life.
I said Mass this evening in Belhar for him and I am grateful for all the  moments, we shared when our ways crossed in the last years.  RIP we Christian say, but I would love to change it: Live in peace where ever you are now and thanks for being a reminder even in your death, how valuable my own lifetime is. I knew it, I know it, but still I need a reminder from time to time.

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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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