God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

10.07.2010 Belhar….

Supplying mass in Belhar – a new community and as always interested to learn about the living situation in the suburbs or Cape Town.  Otherwise some preparation work for next week as my next trip looms to attend the World AIDS Conference in Vienna, followed by a brief stay in Germany.  Otherwise a very rainy day and of course – the second last day of the Soccer World Cup with Germany coming 3rd place. Well deserved.

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

23.11.2009 Berlin calling

A group of mainly doctors from Berlin visited HOPE Cape Town today and it was very good to engage with them in a discussion about the situation here in South Africa and what it means to them in Germany. I hope once again to make it very clear that the HIV problem is not a charity matter but that it is in the interest of the people living in Europe  to avoid the building up of a resistant HIV strain here in South Africa or in East Europe.
The global village does not allow anymore for a kind of separation: with poverty it still is possible, with a virus it is getting more and more difficult and the panic with which people react to certain flu’s in the last year, be it the bird flu or now the swine flu could give an indication what would happen if a real resistant heterosexual HI virus would hit Europe and the rest of the so-called first world. Not sure about the “first” then anymore. And looking at TB with the multi- and extreme resistant TB strains, we have an idea how fast it can go in this direction.

Once again it was obvious how different the situation is in Europe and in South Africa – and as with all group talks, we learned from each other. And I am sure they go back as good ambassadors for the situation here in Southern Africa while still enjoying the beauty of this fabulous continent.

A gathering with a service at a family home ended this day which also saw a lot of preparation for tomorrow and the coming days.

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

09.08.2009 Sunday blues…and toughts about the sermon…

Sunday morning – and the usual ritual. Going to the office, last preparation for the church service and then off we go. And as every Sunday the question before: Does my sermon meets what the people need to hear…? Need to hear to go home afterward more joyful, more thoughtful, with more sun and love and compassion in their hearts? Am I able to touch their hearts and minds – those of the adults, but also those of the kiddies, the young and the old ones?

When I do prepare for a sermon, I always have somebody in front of my mind, or a situation close to my heart. Theological lectures are for study purposes, a sermon should bear witness from my faith, my thoughts, my questions, my experience with the unconditional love. I strongly believe that I can only touch peoples lives when they sense that my words are matched by my life experience. Otherwise I only deliver bloodless words…

Getting feedback on my sermons is very important to me. When I hear that a family was still discussing the sermon on the way back home, or somebody after quite a while can still tell me what I said on that occasion.. it is amazing for me and I feel blessed being able to be a blessing for others. Or an encouragement. Or a stone to stumble and get into deeper thoughts about life and faith.

Whatever it is, a sermon, even if nobody is able or willing to respond directly, must be a dialogue of hearts, otherwise it is a waste of time. Lets hope for this dialogue this morning again.

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

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