God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

Curriculum vitae

Brief CV of Stefan Hippler

* 06.05.1960 in Bitburg/Germany

Primary School and High School in Bitburg/Germany
Study of Philosophy and Theology in Trier and Freiburg / Germany
Further education:  courses in communication, clinical pastoral work, counseling, computer, Care & Counseling HIV/AIDS (UNISA – Centre for Applied Psychology Pretoria/South Africa)

Ordination to priesthood for the Diocese of Trier / Germany

1986 – 1991
Pastoral work as priest in various parishes in Germany (Diocese of Trier)

1991 – 1996
Various work experience: worker@McDonalds/Germany,  farm worker/Lorca-Spain, work in refugee camp (Croatia), hospital for terminal ill cancer patients (Germany),  social worker @ Frankfurt airport (work with refugees)

Pastoral work as “Vikar” in Neuwied/Germany (Diocese of Trier)

1997 – 2009
Chaplain to the German-speaking Catholic Community in Cape Town
2002 – 2009  also co-responsible for the German-speaking community in Durban

10/2009 – 9/2014
Donum Fidei Priest working in the fields of HIV/AIDS (HOPE Cape Town) , Catholic AIDS Network, Supply priest, working group “Center of Healing”(Archdiocese of Cape Town)

1.10.2014 – current
Priest in residence in the Archdiocese of Cape Town (chaplain to HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust – supply priest)

Other activities:

2000 – current
Member of the Board of HOPE Cape Town Association – Cape Town/South Africa
2000 – 2006 Chairperson of HOPE Cape Town Association
2006 – 2012
Board Member of IAM (Inclusive and affirmative Ministries) – Cape Town/South Africa
2011/12 Member of IAM Executive Committee & Chair
1997 – current
Member of the Rotary Club of Signal Hill – Cape Town/South Africa
President 2001/2002 and 2018/2019
2006 – current
Chairperson of the Board of Trustees HOPE Cape Town Trust (South Africa)
2007 – current
Board Member of HOPE Kapstadt Stiftung – Bonn/Germany
2009 – current
Member of the Regional Council of the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry – Cape Town/South Africa
2009 – 2015 Vice Chair
2010 – 2013 Member of the national working group “energy efficiency/renewable energy” – Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry
2013 – 2017 Member 2010 Member of the national working group “education and training” – Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry
2012 – 2014
Contributor for Explizit.net – the Catholic Internet Portal for the German-speaking countries (part-time)
2012 – current
Chaplain to sea (pastoral care for passengers on cruise liners) (part-time)
2013 – 2020
Member of the Cape Town Interfaith Initiative
2013-2017 Board member / 2018 Member of the Advisory Board
2013 – 07/2018 Chair “Sacred Space” portfolio committee
2016 – current
Member  – Board of Directors of HOPE Cape Town USA
2020 – current
Member of the Senior Council – Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry
2021 – current
Member of the Advisory Board of uNowanga


Merit Award – Daemlin School of Computers – Cape Town/South Africa
Paul-Harris Fellowship Award – Rotary International for the work done in the fields of HIV and AIDS – Cape Town/South Africa
“1001 Christenpreis” for courage in the church – Parish St. Michael – Schweinfurt/Germany
Erich Kaestner Award for work that promote tolerance, humanity and international understanding – Presseclub Dresden/Germany
“World without Aids” Award – German Aids Foundation – together with Prof Dr Rita Suessmuth – Berlin
Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz am Band)


since 2005
various publications in Germany and South Africa in the fields of HIV and AIDS and church related matters

Facilitating Relationships between African traditional healing and western medicine in South Africa in the time of AIDS: A case study from the Western Cape” (together with Drs. J. Wreford /M. Esser) CSSR Working Paper No 06/170 Published by the Centre for Social Science Research – University of Cape Town 2006

Gott-AIDS-Afrika” together with Bartholomaeus Grill – Kiepenheuer and Witsch Verlag – Koeln

Involving Traditional Health Practitioners in HIV/AIDS interventions: Lessons from the Western Cape Province” (together with Drs. J.Wreford / M.Esser), CSSR Working Paper No. 08/210 Published by the Centre for Social Science Research – University of Cape Town 2008

Gott-AIDS-Afrika”  together with Bartholomaeus Grill – Paperback Bastei Luebbe Verlag March 2009

Traditionelle Heiler und HIV/AIDS” together with Drs Esser/Wreford in “Religionen im Kampf gegen HIV/AIDS” Hrg. Andre Gerth/Anna Noweck/Simone Rappel  Don Boso Verlag 2009

HIV/AIDS – Stigma und Herausforderung fuer Afrika” in: J.M.Nebe (Herg.): Herausforderung Afrika – Gesellschaft und Raum im Wandel” Nomos Verlag Germany 2011, ISBN 978-3-8329-6314-9

HIV – Mehr als eine Krankheit fuer den Menschen und die Umwelt” in: VERBUM SVD fasiculus 3 Vol 52 2011 – Steyler Verlag 2011

“Was bedeutet religioese Erziehung und Bildung?” in: Joachim Theis: RELI aus gutem Grund – DKV Muenchen 2012 – ISBN 978-3-88207-413-0

„God-Aids-Africa: Turning stigma into a blessing – stories and reflections“ Kindle edition


Member of the International AIDS Society IAS since 2006
Member of the Deutsche Afrika Stiftung e.V. (2012 – 2018)
Member of the Gesellschaft Katholischer Publizisten e.V. since 2009
Member of the Table View Neighborhood Watch since 2015

HIV, Development and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and social development in Africa has its challenges. You will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa, about politics and whatever triggers my interest. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me. Blogging means to initiate thoughts and discussions and for the writer to formulate what is loosely running around in the heart and mind in need of being sorted and spoken out.

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