God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

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, , , , , , , , ,

29.11.2009 A new week

A new week starts – the 1st Advent is already gone and with big steps we are approaching Christmas. This year, my service on Christmas Day will be in the parish of Milnerton. This is after 12 years of German Christmas a new experience.

But until then many things must be done, this week I must finish a lot of paperwork and next Sunday, Dominik will be ordained deacon, as mentioned before another chapter is closed then and I have done my duty. In the last 13 years we had in the German-speaking Catholic Community one Primiz, the first mass of a new priest and now the ordination of a German, who will after one year also be ordained priest. Should nobody say that we German-speaking people abroad having not done our bid to keep the church going.  🙂

Otherwise it was a more of a quiet weekend – some relaxation and I must admit this was very much-needed and welcomed.  I slowly but surely get used to my new working rhythm and when I can occupy in February my office at Tygerberg Campus, then I guess I have once again a very much structured working life.  And that is needed, specially with such a broad portfolio as I do have in the moment.

Yesterday came the second invite to participate in a podium discussion during the 2nd ecumenical church day in Munich. So not only “children and AIDS” but also “global learning” is now on my radar for this big event in Germany. I am happy that I can bring in my expertise in both fields and looking forward to Munich. But also the POZ initiative, the pastoral work for HIV positive priests and religious should be a topic for Munich, but as it seems rather on the sideline. There is still a long way to go until I will have this topic in Rome, but I am working on it… 🙂

Filed under: General, , , , , , , ,

10.11.2009 A long day…

… draws to an end. And a day which was defined by meetings, two major meetings. The first with the group which calls itself “working group POZ” and is driving the process of the pastoral care for priests and religious living with the virus. I reported back from my meeting with the Papal Council for Health Care Workers and other meetings related to this work. And we discussed the way forward trying to involve the level of bishops into our work  as proposed by the councils representative. So we will approach some bishops in the next time to get their support – the first I will see tomorrow is Archbishop Lawrence P Henry, who gave with his blessings the starting point for this joined work between the “Justice & Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Cape Town” and HOPE Cape Town. It is a further step on a long way to bring the topic to the top of the church.

In the afternoon then first planing meeting and then management meeting of HOPE Cape Town. It is a productive time, a time to reflect and plan the necessary structures of HOPE Cape Town for the next time. What is running good, what has to be enhanced, what has to be corrected – how can we optimise the mechanism of work within HOPE Cape Town so that we deliver on our mission statement. But also the question where are our limits? What burden can we carry? Reports back, correspondence, requests – there is always so many things which waits for a decision or the next step ahead. At the end we all know that exciting times are lying ahead. Hopefully new and sufficient office space will be available still this year to accommodate the new working structures of HOPE Cape Town.  Kerstin, our future PA to chair and management has done her first 6 weeks and reports back. It is good to see how good she fits in and enjoys her work – and the HOPE Cape Town people enjoying working with her. It is always a blessing to see when people fit in nicely. Or our HOPE Cape Town doctor, who is with us already for 5 months, but it feels as she has been with us for some years.

I leave the meetings with the feeling that we are moving forward and that we are all willing to bring HOPE Cape Town to a new level of professionalism without losing the heart of the project. I feel encouraged that after months of soul-searching and pondering the right way we are now on this right way into a good future – for the sake of the people we try to assist. Thanks to everybody who contributed to todays productive meetings.


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

10.09.2009 walls..

Yesterday eve, after a day of deep tiredness and exhaustion I watched the ceremony in Berlin commemorating the 20th day of the fall of the Berlin wall. And looking at the pictures I asked myself how long it take for all the walls in our church to come down, the walls that people erect to protect their faith, not knowing what is still waiting for them if they would not see faith as something I can possess, but what I have to live and to develop every day.

I went to turbulent days the last days. Finding my feet again in Cape Town, starting the real process of farewell from “my” communities, sorting out all planing and prepare for the planing meeting today of HOPE Cape Town and HOPE Cape Town POZ,  and accompanying my colleague and successor in his quest to decide, whether he really wants to stay in Cape Town. Tough decisions to make and always to ask oneself, where God leads one and what is a blessing for oneself and for others. Life can appear to be very difficult at times. Well, we will see, what this day will bring…

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

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