On the 28th October 2001 the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard celebrated the 9th anniversary of its foundation. We began nine years ago with five founder members and today we have more than one thousand members scattered around the world.
When we began we had just five projects to serve the poor and the needy in our area. As the needs of the local community have changed, so we have grown and developed new projects according to their needs. The Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard now runs twelve projects, which cover a whole spectrum of emergency aid and self-help needs.
It is with great joy that
we inform you of a most wonderful development:
Father Gérard Lagleder, approached his Abbot to consider allowing him to work full time in the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard. In November 2000 his monastic superior, the Abbot of Inkamana, Gernot Wottawah O.S.B., agreed in principle with his request that he may consider his service in the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard his main missionary assignment.
After some consideration and discussions the Bishop of Eshowe relieved Father Gérard from his duties as the Parish Priest of Mandeni. On 26th July 2001 Father Sipho Titus, a young Zulu diocesan priest, who has also been a member of our Brotherhood since 1998, was appointed the new Parish Priest. Father Gérard will remain in Mandeni. His time will be devoted to the pastoral and charitable service of the church, caring for the sick and needy in the greater Mandeni area, but he will help the parish priest as and when necessary.
Father Gérard had asked to be relieved from his position as the parish priest of Mandeni because his priestly and administrative duties in the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard demanded increasingly more time and energy. As he did not want to neglect his tasks as a parish priest he took on a workload of up to 20 hours per day for many years, but it would not be responsible to do so on a permanent basis. Now, after more than 10 years of service as parish priest of Mandeni, he can be totally, undividedly and exclusively available for his service in the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard.
Taking into account that we work in the area with probably the highest AIDS rate worldwide, the Church in general and the Diocese of Eshowe and Inkamana Abbey in particular, have put their pastoral and charitable responsibility for the sick into practice by allowing Father Gérard to dedicate his undivided energy to the service of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard.
Father Gérard says: “In my eyes it is of even greater significance that my monastery and the diocese have, by this action, acknowledged that our brotherhood has matured to an extent, which warrants the full-time assignment of a priest. I truly consider it a heavenly indication, that both authorities, my abbot and my bishop readily agreed to my request.
Therefore I can reassure you now of my continued loyalty to my vocation as a Maltese-Missionary-Benedictine-Father and I am boundlessly grateful that the Lord has called me to this his special service which I consider the centre of my life. I am happy and content to be totally available for my service in the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard and for those in our care.”
At this juncture we would like to express our very sincere and happy gratitude to Abbot Gernot Wottawah for understanding and recognising the special and multifaceted vocation, which Father Gérard has been called to.
This page is part of the Newsletter No. 21 of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard
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This page was last updated on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 12:50:20