My involvement with Kolping up to now
My voluntary and full-time curriculum vitae is characterized by my collaboration, at first in Youth work and later in my work in the Kolping Society on the most diverse levels. As a young priest, I worked in the Diocese of Trier as the diocesan pastor of the German Catholic Youth and therefore shared the responsibility for the different youth organization in the diocese. Formative was here already my responsibility for the Kolping youth in the diocese of Trier. From 1999 on, my full-time work as rector in Dillingen, Saar, was complemented by the voluntary work as Praeses of the Diocesan Kolping Society of Trier. In 2004, the delegates to the National Convention in Osnabrück elected me to another voluntary position, the National Vice-Praeses of Kolping Germany, Since 2005, I served as „Pastoral Supporter“, sharing the responsibility for the Kolping Youth in the Kolping Society of Germany. In 2008 I was elected full-time National Praeses by Kolping Germany’s National Convention in Essen. A short time later, the Continental Convention elected me to the position of Praeses of the Continental Kolping Society of Europe as well. Each of theses positions required my collaboration in the corresponding legal entities on the diocesan, the national, and the international level. I am therefore, since 2008 member of the Board of the Social and Development Aid of the Kolping Society Reg. Assoc. (SEK e.V.) and since 2011 its deputy president.
What motivates me to run for the office of General Praeses?
For me it is less the appeal and more the honour which has already been bestowed on me through my nomination by the National Board of Kolping Germany as a candidate to succeed Fr. Adolph Kolping.
While the positions of the Diocesan, National, and European Praeses already entailed great responsibilities for the present and the future of the various levels, this responsibility will be considerably greater with the mandate of the General Praeses to represent the International Kolping Society internally and externally in the presently 61 countries in which Kolping work is done. This entails particularly the spiritual direction of the International Kolping Society and its groupings on the basis of the message of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Social Teachings.
What priorities do I envision for my future involvement as General Praeses?
The multi-facetted tasks of the General Praeses of the International Kolping Society make the setting of priorities difficult. Nevertheless, one priority will be the concern regarding the unity of the International Kolping Society.
The points here are a modern implementation of the program and the ideas of Fr. Kolping, intensive contacts to the National Kolping Societies and – if necessary – to additional levels in Kolping International, the preparation and running of work-weeks, seminars, and the formulating of written and work material as well as liturgical papers for the work in the Kolping Society. Important is in my opinion the strengthening of the Continental level so that with the help of the continental team a closer and better collaboration can be achieved among the National Kolping Societies. An additional concern for me as General Praeses would be to collaborate on one of the basic tasks of the Kolping Society, namely the enabling of our members to prove themselves as – in Fr. Kolping’s words – “competent Christians” in all areas of life in the Church and in the world and through these activities of each and every member and the different levels of the Kolping Society foster in the Christian sense the common good and participate in the constant renewal of society in all countries in which we are active.
What languages do I speak?
German and English