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St. Stanislaus Cathedral Church

Keetmanshoop  [1912]

 

 

  History of the Church The Church Today

  Past Pastors  Collaboratos & Institutions

 

 

   

   

   

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Stanislaus Cathedral Church

P.O. Box 88, Keetmanshoop

Presbytery & Office: Tel: 063.223732


 

 

 

Sunday Mass:

Wednesdays:

 

Confession:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Office Hours

 

 

 

 

 

A Brief History of the Church

 

In 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 Communication.

 

In 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 soldiers.

 

In 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.

 

On 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.

 

In 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. 

 

When 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.

 

On 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.

 

Fr. 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.

 

On 7 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.

 

Fr. 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.

 

In 1927 while Msgr. M. Eder OSFS is Apostolic Prefect, the Seat of the Prefecture is moved from Heirachabis to Keetmanshoop.

 

In 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.

 

Thus 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.

 

On 11 January 1932 Fr. Hyls and Sr. Emilie-Constance leave for Tschaunaup to start a new mission there.

 

Fr. 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.

 

In 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.

 

In 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.

 

In 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 work.

 

On 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.

 

The 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 present.

 

In 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. Stanislaus parish.

 

 

 

 

The Parish Today

 

 

 

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

 

The different 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 Tses, Koichas and Berseba.

 

 

 

 

The Pastors of the Past

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collaborators and Institutions

      

OSFS Sisters
P.O. Box 88, Keetmanshoop


 

 

 

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CHURCHES IN THE DIOCESE:

Aranos Aroab Aus Berseba Bethanie Blouwes Cathedral Gabis

Gibeon Gochas Hierachabis Karasburg Koes Koichas Luderitz

Luderitz [town] Maltahohe Mariental Noordoewer OLPH

Omomas Oranjemund Rehoboth Rosh Pinah Snyfontein Stampriet

Tses Warmbad Witkrans

Contact us at: klettner@iway.na or pck@iway.na

Your comments to : msfslud@iway.na or kpmsfs@catholic.org

© 2005 Diocese of Keetmanshoop, Namibia.  All rights reserved.