Our president, Father Gérard, is a Missionary Benedictine monk of St. Ottilien archabbey in Germany and has been assigned as a missionary to Inkamana Abbey in South Africa since 6 January 1987. When two of his confrères, Abbot Willibrord and Brother Stephen became very sick and needed 24 hours care, seven days a week, Abbot Godfrey asked us to admit them into our hospice and we most gladly agreed.
Br. Stephen Ebert O.S.B. suffered from Motor Neurone Disease and spent the final stages with us from 11 March until his death on 21 May 2004. He had always been an example of a most dedicated monk and even in his final stages of suffering he never lost his faith and goodness of heart.
Our member Abbot Willibrord van Rompaey O.S.B. had a severe stroke in March 2004 and even when he was still in the high care ward of Newcastle Hospital, he insisted that he wants to be transferred to us. Apart from some necessary interruptions of hospitalisation in Umhlanga Rocks Abbot Willibrord spent nearly eight months, from 18 March until his death on 5 November 2004 with us. Father Abbot was a very kind, friendly and deeply grateful patient, but his own patience was put to a hard test, when his diabetes and his very weak heart made him nearly blind and totally dependent.
Thank you, Brother Stephen and Abbot Willibrord! Your presence among us was a great privilege and a deep blessing. R.I.P.
This page is part of the Newsletter No. 24 of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard
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