God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

A blessed New Year

A Happy New Year

A happy New Year we wish each other at the beginning of a new year – and I sometimes wonder whether I really want to have a happy one – “happy” sounds somehow superficial – and I am not sure if I always want to be a happy chappy day-in and day-out.

A Joyful New Year

I rather would go for a “joyful” wish – because joy seems to me much more deeper – joy is a basic condition seeing life through a special eye.

A Blessed New Year

But my sort of wish list tops with the phrase “a blessed year” – because it allows for all sorts of events and simply wishes that whatever comes up in the next 365 days may be taken as a meaningful building block for making me the person I should be. It acknowledges the up and down of a human life and experience and the wish to make sense of it all – sooner or later. Feeling blessed means also being a blessing for others – that should definitely be an aim for the year.
Because we need to be each others blessings and support in this crazy world, we need it for ourselves to survive the onslaught of madness which makes life exciting and draining at the same time.

A blessed New Year to all of you

Fr Stefan

Filed under: Reflection, Uncategorized, , , , , ,

blessed, joyful or horrible?

Depending on whom you ask these days, the answer how 2017 will play out is answered differently. In the USA Democrats fear a horrible start of a Trump presidency, in South Africa, President Zuma is joyful that the ANC, celebrating birthday today, has the same impact as the birth of Jesus and those in Istanbul having survived the attack on the nightclub will feel blessed to luckily escape the bullets of the shooter. So it seems that situations determine the outlook of the year just started to come to life.
Reflecting on it, I am not sure this is the right way to look at it. Situations I often can not change, they way I react is the only option to turn the tide or to get through the year sane and with the joy and dignity it deserves. So yeah, the facts might be favorable or unfavorable from the outside but at the end it is me who decides on how to work with them or through them. Trump is a pain in the neck and his election has shown the limits of democracy when millions of disappointed citizen believe a self-absorbed womanizer and liar, but exactly those limitations will trigger the sense of resistance and finally goodness in many: the values of protecting the poor, supporting those who have to flee their home, to uphold constitutional rights  – we will see a wave of humanity balancing the ignorance of the elected ones. Whatever the perceived outlook is for somebody: the year 2017 will be as mixed, as challenging, as rewarding, as surprising like any other year before. Like in every year it will open and close doors unexpectedly, we will see people gone for good and for some of us, the door of this life will also close forever.

Who you are will determine how you manage and see the year in respective – the inner values, your stand in life, your rooting in life will at the end be the compass to navigate through all the challenges ahead. And the same goes for organizations: having build and building core values with consistency and dedication, knowing what you are good at and where to improve, having a plan and still being flexible enough to reevaluate, being adventurous while knowing your trade is the recipe for success – and this success is in the case of an NGO like HOPE Cape Town measured in the quantity of hope and love you where able to pass on to those in need of support and assistance. Every smile of a child feeling healthy and loved, every positive outlook of a struggling youngster mastering the years before adulthood will be a marker of this success; every baby born healthy and put into the arms of an exhausted mother after birth will contribute to how this year is playing out for people. Let’s take what we are faced with in 2017 and turn it as much as possible into a blessing for all concerned.

 

Filed under: HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

22.01.2010 Friday eve…

Discussion with a lecturer from Munich about a photo exhibition during the World Cup 2010 featuring the lives of people here in South Africa. We discuss the possibility to feature in this exhibition also a HOPE community health worker or the HOPE doctor. An interesting way of having a look on the life of a person from HOPE Cape Town: through a camera which keeps moments in a life’s time to show the reality of daily routine, hardship and joy. I think it is a good idea and for HOPE Cape Town also interesting to get a photographic feed back  on the work we are doing through our front people: the HOPE community health workers.

Luncheon with a friend – always good just to let go and talk and consider and plan for going together to Germany and Italy in May – unfortunately business related. But still: it is interesting to see after so many years, that friendship can create synergies assisting the work within the Archdiocese of Cape Town. A very good feeling about it – and an outstanding service at the so-called family restaurant.

Office work, phone calls, preparations – a decent dinner with nice people – this day brought a good mix of everything and looking back at the week, which started in Bangkok and will end in Newlands – a diversity of experience within a week which makes one grateful. I hope for more such good weeks to come in the next time…

Filed under: Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

10.09.2009 coming home…

I think the headline “coming home” is the right one, “feeling home” is even better. I am going to bed today with a feeling of joy. The farewell was indeed rather a celebration of our togetherness – I could feel the sincerity of enjoying each others company and chatting the eve along. I am a blessed man to be part of such a crowd and even changing portfolio will nothing take away from the friendship I could feel tonight. Good night 🙂

Filed under: Reflection, Uncategorized, , , ,

01.09.2009 joy

Reading all the emails and sms today I only feel joy and surprise, that so many people take somehow part in my journey and appreciate the decision to keep me in Cape Town. It is indeed amazing how in the age of Internet news go around the world, via twitter, facebook, news-portals, newspapers, radio station – really, really amazing.
I personally feel relieved to know now that I will stay, I am looking forward to keep on working in a field I love and I am very serious about. I had this morning my first meeting with our project supervisor to plan for October and the months to come and can sense the excitement of people within HOPE Cape Town. I only can hope, that I will match all those expectations. It can be frightening to know all the tasks ahead, but also giving you that thrilling kick you need to get the best out of you.

I already today made contact with some visitors from the Archdiocese of Munich, who happened to be in Cape Town and to introduce the idea to broaden the partnership between Bavaria and the Western Cape with a bigger slice of church cooperation. And the first appointment is set when I will be in Munich beginning of November.
Plans for my travel to Germany in October also become clearer. Aachen, Munich, Frankfurt, Dresden, Bitburg, Wolfsburg and Berlin are already on the map and I hope to add some more before I have finished the preparations. Rome is also on the list, not quite in Germany but in reach when you fly from Munich..  :-). Joachim Franz (be your own hero e.V.) and myself try to get a second meeting with the Papal Council for Health Care Workers to continue our dialogue we started when we visited the Vatican last year in November.

Thousand ideas are floating around my head, but i first have to wrap up my chaplaincy in a decent way and prepare the way for my successor. He should feel welcomed when he arrives and knowing my great community here I do not have any doubt that this will be the case.
For myself, the 4th of October will be the farewell day – having Holy Mass at 11h30 combining English, Polish and German, followed by a reception and some speeches. And of course something to eat. Choir and Orchestra will perform pieces from Haendel during the service – I am really looking forward and my wish is, that after that special services people are going home and feeling good and elevated, having still the tunes of Haendel (and some thoughts of the sermon 🙂 ) in their minds. A truly inspiring service. I have asked a friend of mine, Fr. Wim, to preach on this occasion and I am looking forward to his surely well prepared sermon on that day.

I hope this farewell day is a great day with lots of laughter and memories but also the beginning of a new chapter in my life.  I am grateful for all the support in these days of decision.

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

13th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenOctober 27th, 2018
more info www.hopegala.de and admin@hopecapetown.com

Ball of HOPE 2018

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 12th, 2018

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© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
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