1912 Fr. J. Malinowski OSFS visited Keetmanshoop. Before
returning to Heirachabis he baptized Oskar, the infant
son of Mr. and Mrs. V. Plichta. This child later became
the father of Oskar V. Plichta, or "Hampie" as he was
known to everybody. After the Independence of Namibia,
Hampie was elected as Mayor of Keetmanshoop. He was
later appointed to the Cabinet and served in the Central
Government as Minister of Works, Transport and
1909 Fr. P. Gineiger OSFS visited Keetmanshoop, while in
the same year Fr. Stanislaus von Krolikowski OSFS was
named Apostolic Prefect of Great Namaqualand. Fr. F. X.
Lipp OSFS arrived in Keetmanshoop on 9 October 1909 and
stayed for three days. In the ELC School he celebrated
Holy Mass for the Catholic soldiers. In May 1910 Fr.
Gineiger came a second time and in 1911 he was here for
Easter, while Fr. Lipp came in December to visit the
May 1912 Msgr. von Krolikowski and Fr. Gineiger
travelled to Windhoek, Rehoboth, Gibeon and Gochas. On
their way back they stopped at Keetmanshoop and lodged
in the house of a certain Mr. Ehrel. The chemist shop of
Mr. Strauss was also in this building; both he and his
wife were Catholics. The Fathers hired three small
rooms, with the idea of buying the whole house later on,
where Fr. Gineiger could start a mission, but this plan
did not succeed.
10 October 1912 Fr. Lipp arrived and took up his
residence in the three empty little rooms. At that time
there were 116 Catholics in the town, of whom 32 were
soldiers. In one of these rooms Fr. Lipp celebrated Holy
Mass on 13 October. Seventeen people were present,
including two soldiers.
June 1913 plans were made to build a presbytery and a
chapel. This first church was dedicated to St.
Stanislaus and blessed by Msgr. von Krolikowski on 4
January 1914. On 8 February 1914 he established the
parish of Saint Stanislaus.
war broke out in August 1914, many people living in the
south were obliged to trek northwards. Thus it happened
that the OSFS Sisters and the people of Heirachabis and
surroundings arrived at Keetmanshoop. Four Sisters
started to work in the hospital, while Fr. Auner OSFS
traveled further to Maltahöhe with the people of
Heirachabis and their herds. In April 1915 most of the
inhabitants of Keetmanshoop had to leave the town,
including the Sisters and the hospital staff. Fr. Lipp
refused to leave Keetmanshoop, as he had heard how the
missions in the south were destroyed and plundered once
everyone had left.
20 April 1915 the South-African forces commanded the
town. All lights had to be extinguished after 8.00pm.;
every German to report himself every day. Thanks to Fr.
Lipp's intercession, the plan to send all Germans away,
was stopped; he also ensured that the indigenous
population would not be harassed.
Sollier OSFS, who was the military chaplain at Upington,
arrived on horseback and stayed eight days with Fr.
Lipp. The wounded who arrived had much to suffer as food
was scarce and in the hospital there was not even one
bed. Fr. Lipp visited them night and day.
July 1915 came the news that peace had been declared.
The Sisters returned from Windhoek; their journey back
to Heirachabis by ox-wagon took six weeks. Fr. Auner
trekked back to the south with his people and the herds.
At Heirachabis they found that everything had been
destroyed or stolen. The Sisters stayed in the school.
Starting in January 1916, Fr. Lipp visited Aus every
second month where there were two military camps:
Catholic German soldiers were interned in one camp,
while in the other their English/South African guards
lived. He visited both camps. On 4 April 1919 he blessed
the graves of all the soldiers of the two camps who had
died during the 1918 influenza epidemic.
Lipp left for Rehoboth on 3 October 1922 to start a new
mission there. Fr. Zettl takes his place in Keetmanshoop.
In the same year the Sisters' house in the town is
built; in 1926 a kitchen and dining-rooms are built and
the convent is extended. Catholic children attending the
schools in the town, are taken in as boarders.
1927 while Msgr. M. Eder OSFS is Apostolic Prefect, the
Seat of the Prefecture is moved from Heirachabis to
1928 Fr. J. Hyls OSFS is the parish priest of St.
Stanislaus while Fr. Rehor goes to the new mission at
OLPH where the first baptisms take place in 1929.
Keetmanshoop becomes the centre of the Vicariate not
only on the map but also in the spiritual and pastoral
sense. Hardly a day goes by without visits from Fathers,
Sisters or others, on their way to other missions or in
order to consult the Bishop.
11 January 1932 Fr. Hyls and Sr. Emilie-Constance leave
for Tschaunaup to start a new mission there.
J. Eich OSFS succeeds Bishop Klemann as Bishop in 1942.
He decides to start collecting funds to build a
cathedral, for he says Keetmanshoop is the only place in
Southern Africa where there is a bishop but no
cathedral. On 13 May 1954 Bishop Esser laid the
cornerstone. On 17 June the altar in the crypt was
consecrated. Mother Edelburgis MSC donated the Stations
of the Cross in November, while in February of the
following year the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was
placed in the tower. This was a gift of the
Mother-General of the OSFS Sisters.
April 1956 Bishop Esser is transferred to Keimoes
Diocese, while Fr. E.J. Schlotterback OSFS of Onseepkans
is appointed as new Bishop of Keetmanshoop. On 20 June,
after lunch, Bishop Esser, assisted by Fr. M. Janssen,
blesses the new cathedral.
1957 the OSFS Sisters at St. Stanislaus decide to open a
kindergarten. Within a month they have 20 children in
the kindergarten and 32 children in the school hostel.
May 1964 the crucifix and the accompanying angels for
the cathedral were received. The sculptor was the famous
Austrian Josef Furthner (1890-1971). This was his last
12 June 1994, while the Cathedral is being repaired, the
hall which was originally the first church of St.
Stanislaus, is again used for church purposes. The RENEW
programme is launched in the Diocese when Bishop
celebrates Holy Mass at the Stadium on 14 August 1994.
On 27 June 1995 the Cathedral is once again in use.
official opening of the Centenary of the Catholc Church
in Namibia takes place on 28 January 1996. On the same
day Bishop Antonio consecrates the Cathedral and the
altar. Archbishop Haushiku and Bishop Shikongo are also
May 1997 Fr. Klaus Lettner comes to Keetmanshoop. He is
a Fidei Donum priest from the Diocese of Regensburg.
Bishop Antonio appoints him as priest- in-charge of St.
At present the
Stanislaus Church serves as a Cathedral Church for the
diocese of Keetmanshoop as well as a Parish Church for
the Catholics who live in Westdene and Noordhoek. There
are approximately nearly 450 members in the Church. The
time of the Holy Eucharistic Celebration is on Sundays
9.00 am and on Wednesdays 6.30.pm
organizations which work in the parish are the Small
Christian Communities, the Youth Group, etc. These
organizations help to deepen the faith of the believers
by conducting different activities like; Prayer
Sessions, Bible Classes, etc. There is also Catechism
classes being conducted for the children through out the
year. The Parish also serves the out stations like