God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

04.11.2010 TUM

The workshop in Munich was excellent – lots of interesting information and the first ideas how to get the partnership between HOPE Cape Town,  Technical University Munich and the University of Stellenbosch going in the fields of HIV and sports. If everything is going well, we are planing to involve the community of Manenberg in a mentors programme and also try to get a project running which would see people living with HIV running the Two Ocean Marathon. But as always all needs a proper structure and some money. But i am hopeful that we succeed in launching both projects sooner than later.

This morning a talk with a representative of the Katholische Buero in Munich. We discuss the possible involvement of the Freisinger Bishops Conference in the partnership between Bavaria and the Western Cape.
Luncheon with my book agent to discuss possible new projects before heading to the University again to reflect on the workshop yesterday with the dean of sports sciences, Prof. Beckmann.

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

03.11.2010 Munich

Arrived yesterday in Munich to attend the workshop at the Technical University today. I am still with many thoughts in Dresden – the HOPE Gala Dresden was indeed a highlight of the year – and the proceeds of 100 000 Euro for HOPE Cape Town a great success.  Seeing a touched Joachim Franz receiving the 2nd HOPE award was also a very special moment. The talk at the Technical University Dresden and my encounter with students of the Kreuz School added so much value to my stay.
There is lots of interest to tighten the relationship between Dresden and Cape Town and I can see so many possibilities to do this with style and meaning for the people concerned – I am looking forward to explore all the ways available.

I feel blessed seeing all the good will and support.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, Networking, Society and living environment, , , , , ,

15.05.2010 Third Day of the Ecumenical Church Day in Munich

Saturday and the last day of the Ecumenical Church Day in Munich. Together with Fr Wim we venture into the city of Munich – all over Munich, the churches are open during day and some during night to give chance for prayer and the experience of silence. On the “Marienplatz” we attend a prayer service – it is amazing to see, how the people join in into the singing even the temperatures are freezing cold today. Then we quickly pop into the “Virtualienmarkt” and later to buy some chocolates for the altar servers of Manenberg – German chocolate is different to their not so tasty South African counterparts… 🙂

The afternoon sees us heading again to the trade fair center – last meetings and an interview for the SWDR are scheduled. In Trier, there will be the nights of lights beginning of June – and the donations obtained at that occasion are partly for HOPE Cape Town. A good opportunity to speak about the work, HOPE Cape Town is doing as well as specific church related problems within the prevention work in our days.

At the OEKT Lounge, I bump into the Federal Minster of Interior –  a brief chat and hopefully we see each other again in South Africa during the Soccer World Cup or latest at the annual HOPE Gala in Dresden. A brief chat with one of  the auxiliary bishops of Trier and Martin, who happened to do an internship in Cape Town and is now a so-called “Gemeindereferent” in German parishes.

Then time to go back again to the inner city of Munich to attend a special service at the St. Lukas parish – a full church, beautiful hymns, a good and dynamic sermon – church as it should be. We leave with inner joy and walk back through the cold night to our hotel for some dinner. Another day full of experiences not to be missed and the reflection shows, that the networking was indeed working: we have many invitations and we had many meetings where a follow-up is needed still this year. All will benefit our work at home a great deal.

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

09.05.2010 On the way…

Cape Town – Johannesburg – Frankfurt – Hannover… the first leg of the trip, Fr. Wim Lindeque of Manneberg and I are flying to meet a lot of interesting people and to hopefully push forward our common agenda regarding the pastoral work for HIV positive priests and religious. While the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference considers our proposal, we are heading also to Rome to introduce our concept to two papal councils. After that to Munich where I am invited to join a podium about South African children and HIV. Lots of talks with politicians and church people are also on the agenda. Finally to Muenster Sarmsheim to join for a fundraising evening in lieu of HOPE Cape Town and the next day discussion with some students of a local school.

But first to Hannover and Wolfsburg to meet “brother” Joachim and Sandra and their team to prepare for some challenging events next year.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Medical and Research, Networking, Politics and Society, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , ,

18.01.2010 Back to work…

Who does not know the feeling at the end of a holiday to be thorn between liking to stay a bit longer but also the curiosity to get home and back to the daily routine of working, eating, sleeping and dreaming of the next holidays.
And I think I have enough to be excited about when coming home: HOPE Cape Town will get new offices under the wings of pharmacology and I will have my office there, much better than working from home. “Going to work” has its merit – coming home as well – combining both one sometimes does not know when one is at work or at leisure.

Travel to the 2nd ecumenical church days in Munich, Rome, several invitations to talks, working meetings with Joachim Franz and his team (www.wae.de), the Ball of HOPE, the HOPE Gala Dresden, the “Berliner AIDS Gala”, Blankenese and the Walzertal, the World AIDS Conference and not to forget the Soccer World Cup in South Africa are waiting – for latter I applied to be a volunteer and will have an interview coming week. Exciting times – and of course some holidays in between.
The 10th anniversary of the Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce in February is not forgotten on this list – as well as all the promised visits to each and every township clinic to visit all our HOPE Community Health Workers at their working place. Developing new projects and continuing the already running work of HOPE Cape Town has also its merits on the scale of excitement.

So yes, it is time to come home and to get going again and to see, how I can live in my new role as “present of faith”.
A new bishop in Cape Town, the work with POZ, the working group dealing with HIV positive clergy – also on this side is a lot to come. And I already agreed to supply in quite some parishes which means to get more insight and learn more about life in the different societies of Greater Cape Town.

Well, what can I say: Cape Town, I am coming..:-))

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

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