After he attended the International Gathering of Catholic Families in Milan (Italy), Bishop Dabula Anthony Mpako visited the Pallottine Mission House in Limburg an der Lahn in Germany, where he met his predecessor, Bishop Herbert Nikolaus Lenhof SAC, who lives there since he retired.
Bishop Lenhof was eager to meet his successor and also Bishop Mpako was keen to see his predecessor.
Father Lenhof was only 48 years old when he became the third bishop of Queenstown and I am quite sure that, 29 years later, he was quite interested and fascinated when his 52 years old successor reported him about the latest developments in his former diocese.
The Pallottine Mission House in Limburg is a more then one hundred years old building which houses a remarkable religious institution with an even more remarkable apostolic tradition. In the course of the last century, hundreds of priests and brothers got their formation there and were sent out as missionaries to the Cameroons, South Africa, Australia, Chile, Argentina and Canada. In the mean time it developed it’s apostolic network in the most attractive and effective way in Germany, Poland, Switzerland and Austria.
There is no doubt that our Bishop was positively impressed by what he saw and learned in Limburg: the work and the realisations of the Pallottines in the Diocese of Queenstown are not to underestimate and are for him a solid platform for the further development on pastoral, administrative and financial level.
No wonder that he expressed first of all his gratitude towards the Pallottines for the work done in the diocese, and secondly his hope for further future help and effective cooperation in the pastoral field.
I am also quite sure that on the one side, Bishop Lenhof was amused when he observed Bishop Mpako’s enthusiasm and dynamism and that, on the other side, Bishop Mpako had also his own thoughts when he observed how a “retired” bishop lives in a “reduced residence” (only one room!) without the usual entourage and without a car.
Besides Limburg, our Bishop had also the opportunity to visit the impressing Cathedral of Cologne, the Benedictine Sisters of the abbey of Eibingen and the Pallottine Provincialate in Friedberg. On Corpus Christi Feast, he also could take part in the pontifical High Mass presided by the local Bishop Conrad Zdarsa in the Cathedral of Augsburg, followed by the traditional Corpus Christi procession in town.
Three weeks abroad and that with a quite busy schedule must have been interesting but also tiring. Now that he is back in Queenstown, we wish Bishop Mpako a heartily“Welcome home” and the necessary energy to go on with what he started eleven months ago.
Fr Edward Tratsaert SAC