God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

A year passed by…

Cape of Good Hope - Cape Town, South Africa

Cape of Good Hope – Cape Town, South Africa (Photo credit: David Berkowitz)

This was quite a year – and even as it is not ended yet, some reflections cannot harm. Lots of travel I have undertaken to further the cause of HOPE Cape Town. 5 overseas trips gave ample opportunity to introduce HOPE Cape Town to new friends, partners and sponsors but also kept “old friends” informed. A special thanks to the visitors from the Bavarian Parliament with Barbara Stamm and Franz Maget amongst others who assisted in organizing a 3 days visit to the European Union in Brussels to learn about the EU- SA relationship first hand. What an insight and a privilege. My annual trip to Dresden to attend the HOPE Gala is a must every year – what a delight to see many people again and again flocking to this event. The USA, Fr Paul, Joe and Shirley – we laid the ground for hopefully good joined work in the new year, not to forget the meeting at Fordham University in Manhattan.
At home here in Cape Town the Ball of HOPE proofed again to be a social highlight and a great marketing tool to keep the ideas of HOPE Cape Town floating. We welcomed new staff to the HOPE Cape Town Association, among them Izane as program coordinator with excellent skills and Charles, coming from Durban with lots of new ideas for marketing and fundraising. With Martin and Jacobus, two new trustees were inducted.
We mourned the death of our trustee Auntie Pat and were grateful to had her on board for so many years.New plans to develop HOPE Cape Town, to add programs like HOPE to HOME and identify other gaps in the roll out and care through the official health services were also on the cards .
For me, finding a spiritual home in supplying Holy Mass in Milnerton, Brooklyn and Manenberg amongst others was equally important as was the visit of “my” Bishop Stephan Ackermann from my Diocese of Trier. Showing him how project work, caritas, diakonia, missionary work in the best sense of the word – understood like Pope Francis does –  , pastoral work and the interaction between all these lines of work was important to him as it was to me.
Being a chaplain to sea and even being able to play a priest for a German TV production – quite some new experiences I don’t want to miss.
But there is also the sad part of life:
I already mentioned the loss of Aunty Pat. I also lost my dad and we here in South Africa lost with Madiba the father of the nation – and both within a week – quite a tough time and full of emotions I never thought I have in me. It also showed me that there is still a learning curve to accept death as part of life – nothing can prepare you when it comes close to you. All mental preparation is fading in minutes.

I was blessed to meet so many people from all walks of life who added to my life a great deal – I only can be grateful for that. Whether it was praise or critical words – it all helped me to try to be a better person. And there is surely enough room for improvement. 🙂

I am continuing reflecting on 2013 and looking forward to a 2014 full of life, joy, challenges – but I am sure – being unconditional loved by God – it will work out and add another exciting time period to my life time.

Filed under: Catholic Church, General, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, HOPE Gala Dresden, Networking, Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

26.01.2010 Milnerton

IT is almost midnight and I just come back from the horse race auction at the Milnerton town hall, organised by the Men’s Society of the Catholic parish Milnerton / Brooklyn. As always a big thanks to Brian Sharkey and his team and the horse-race community for all their efforts to race funds for HOPE Cape Town and also for an evening full of excitement through auctions and the bids. It feels great to have such supporters.

It was a long day, also with a meeting of the POZ team in Mannenberg, where we discussed what kind of theological substance we bring to our cause. When we want to bring the quest of HIV positive clergy to the bishops, there must be some theological thinking done beforehand. It was a very constructive meeting and I have the feeling that we are going our path slowly, but surely and that we develop in a way appropriate to the tricky topic. I am glad to have such great colleagues working with me on this.

So in total a good day, lots of new appointments and meeting requests came their way – the next two weeks are surely not boring.

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

25.01.2010 Golf Day

Today is a Golf Day in lieu of HOPE Cape Town, tomorrow the horse auction at the Milnerton Town Hall. It is amazing to see what people can do to support a good cause. Brian Sharkey and the Men’s Society of the Milnerton/Brooklyn Catholic Church are indeed busy to support HOPE Cape Town and they are doing in now since years. It is always good to be with them in the beginning of a new year and to experience the goodness of people. HOPE Cape Town is very grateful for these local supporters – and that is a focal point of fundraising also for this year: to expand the circle of sponsors and friends of HOPE Cape Town in South Africa. People living here should own their country and they should work hard to make their very own country a better place. Judging from experience it is not often the case. Very often it is easy to support those who are living far away- but to forget the nightmares in front of the own door. I guess it is an international phenomenon. The Men’s Society shows that it is good and worthwhile to look not too far for a moment but to see the needs around the corner of the parish boundaries. I am grateful to know all these people. Well done and all success for today and tomorrow.

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

22.01.2010 A long day

…draws to an end, beginning at 6 in the morning and ending now after midnight. The last 48 hours have been amazingly divers and interesting. I did not know that I brought so much energy with me from my holidays. Resting a lot seems to have helped to recover and gain the energy needed to tackle the first days after coming back.

A great eve with people from Switzerland ended this evening, good talks, nice food. lovely company. It simply felt good again – sitting outside after the meal and chatting a bit the night away. I once again realised how privileged I am to live and work in South Africa. And I also realised how much people expect from me and how much challenge is still lying ahead. That is enough realisation for one day.

Next week are two major fundraising events for HOPE Cape Town – the Golf tournament at Pearl Valley Golf Estates on Monday and on Tuesday the Horse Auction from the Catholic Men’s Society Milnerton/Brooklyn – at 7pm Milnerton Town Hall. If you have time come and join the crowd, bid on a horse, win and do good at the same time.

And don’t forget to circle in your calendar the 22.5. 2010 – Ball of HOPE – together with the Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Westin Grand Hotel.

And many more exciting events to come. Watch the space.

Filed under: HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Networking, , , , , ,

11.10.2009 Diversity and in between

This weekend is the first weekend as a priest without a fix community and I supplied mass in Milnerton and Brooklyn. As I know Milnerton a longer time, it was a good experience, also seeing people again who I had not seen for a longer time. It has been as a chaplain always good to keep in touch with the “South African way” of saying Mass. What stroke me most today was the diversity of the Brooklyn parish – and how many kids attended the service. The church was full, the singing more “African” with clapping. Generally the diversity and the way of being relaxed is in both communities remarkable.

One has still the feeling of belonging to a big family when attending such a service, it is a feeling I still know from the good old days in Germany. As it is in often in South Africa, the mix of modern and old fashioned is fascinating, beamers bring the hymns to the screen, but the mobilar is still from “annodazumal” as the Germans would say. Writing this it reminds me of the meetings with the sangomas, where during rituals suddenly cellphone are ringing: pearls, feathers and bones are no obstacles to embrace new cellphone technology.

I think that this mix of diversity combined with old traditions and new technology carries the fascination of this country and its people – and it adds to the confusion of the visitor and guest: South Africa is still a developing country but also a modern country, it is a country in between. And the same goes for the church of South Africa – it is between the old and known and the new and unknown. Especially the Catholic Church, which was during apartheid times rather a suspicious group, had to jump quite fast to catch up after the end of apartheid.

A fascinating field to work in as a priest between the old and the new world.. in transition..

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

Blog Categories

Follow God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE on WordPress.com

Ball of HOPE 2020

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 23rd, 2020
3 months to go.

15th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenOctober 31st, 2020
8 months to go.

You can share this blog in many ways..

Bookmark and Share

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,048 other followers

Translation – Deutsch? Française? Espanol? …

The translation button is located on each single blog page, Copy the text, click the button and paste it for instant translation:
Website Translation Widget

or for the translation of the front page:

* Click for Translation

Copyright

© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

This not withstanding the following applies:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

%d bloggers like this: