Current and Past Misereor Heads Meet Up
By Sydney Duval – Misereor and Missio are the two big Ms celebrated as active and conscientious Catholic voices for social responsibility and pastoral outreach.
Misereor is the German Catholic bishops’ organisation for development cooperation. For more than 50 years it has fought poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America — regardless of religion, ethnicity or gender.
Missio is committed to strengthening missionary awareness of the faithful, and also provides financial and non-material support to local Churches in Africa, Asia and Oceania.
Both Misereor and Missio served as valued partners of the Church in South Africa during the worst days of apartheid and repression.
Dr Günther Thie, for many years the SA Misereor desk officer, crisscrossed the country, from city to township to bundu, establishing and supporting projects aimed at human development through community self-help initiatives. HIV/Aids was a major Misereor concern.
After a break of several years, Dr Thie was back in South Africa lately to join theologian Dr Klaus Piepel, the current Misereor desk officer. They spent time catching up with old and new partners for a sharing and review of work on the go.
The two began their time in Cape Town with a visit to Peter and Annie Templeton at Goedgedacht Trust for rural children.
They met Archbishop Stephen Brislin and Auxiliary Bishop Sylvester David too, followed by sessions with the Rural Development Support Programme and the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office, and a brief encounter with Fr Pat Naughton SDB of the Salesian Institute.
Drs Thie and Piepel also visited the Eastern Cape to connect, reflect and renew their work on the ground.