God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

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 (Centre for Applied Psychology Pretoria/South Africa)

1986 Ordination to priesthood for the Diocese of Trier / Germany

1986 – 1991 pastoral work as priest in various parishes in Germany

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

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)

since 1.10.2014
Residing priest in the Archdiocese of Cape Town (HIV/AIDS, TB – HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust – supply priest)

Other activities:
2000 – 2006
Chairperson of HOPE Cape Town Association – Cape Town/South Africa
2006 – 2012
Board Member of IAM ( Integrative and affirmative Ministry) – Cape Town/South Africa
Member of IAM Executive Committee & Chair  (2011/12)
Member of the national working group “energy efficiency/renewable energy” – Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Since 1997
Member of the Rotary Club of Signal Hill – Cape Town/South Africa
President 2001/2002 and 2018/2019
Since 2000
Member of the Board of HOPE Cape Town Association – Cape Town/South Africa
Since 2006
Chairperson of the Board of Trustees HOPE – Cape Town Trust – Cape Town/South Africa
Since 2007
Board Member of the Board of Trustees HOPE Kapstadt Stiftung – Bonn/Germany
Since 2009
Member of the Regional Council of the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry – Cape Town/South Africa – Vice Chairperson
2012 -2014
Correspondent for Explizit.net – the Catholic Internet Portal for the German-speaking countries (part-time)
Since 2012
Chaplain to sea (pastoral care for passengers on cruise liners) (part-time)
Since 2013
Member 2010 Member of the national working group “education and training” – Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Since 2013
Member of the Interfaith Council Cape Town
Since 2016
Member  – Board of Directors of HOPE Cape Town USA


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


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
Member of the Deutsche Afrika Stiftung e.V. (2012 – 2018)
Member of the Gesellschaft Katholischer Publizisten e.V.
Member of the Table View Neighborhood Watch

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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