Mariannhill Monastery

1882 Abbot Francis Pfanner – South Africa

A Mariannhill Priest is Mourned

Posted by Mariannhill Monastery August - 22 - 2012 Comments Off on A Mariannhill Priest is Mourned

Father Ignatius Anton Heer

“A true shepherd and leader who made an impact on the lives of many people in different parts of the world” that is how the mourners described the late Father Ignatius Anton Heer during the Requiem Mass/funeral service recently.

Fr. Heer died in Germany after battling with a malignant brain tumour. Members of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Mariannhill (CMM), the faithful and friends converged on the Mariannhill Monastery Church to bid farewell to the late Fr. Heer, who for many years served the community and the church with distinction.

In his homily, the Mariannhill Regional Superior, Fr. Bheki Shabalala CMM, said Fr. Heer had embraced the mission of Christ with no boundaries, and that he was a “rolling stone” so that he could experience this notion of Kingdom of God without boundaries. “He also reached out to the minority groups, going beyond the boundaries, and did all this in honesty in relation with the principles of the congregation and the church that he dearly served,” said Fr. Shabalala.

The late Fr. Heer was ordained a priest in 1960. In the following year he arrived in South Africa, where he became actively involved as missionary in different areas of pastoral work in the Mariannhill and Mthatha Dioceses until his death.  Apart from serving as priest in various stations, Fr. Ignatius Heer also served as editor of UMAFRIKA Newspaper, Director of the Retreat House in Mariannhill as well as in the administration of Mariannhill-Monastery, tasks that he served with great zeal and commitment.

Fr. Henry Ratering CMM, described the late Fr. Heer as a great traveller and really a rolling stone. He said that during his many years of missionary work Fr. Heer visited many places and that the places that attracted him the most were the Holy Land and India, where he went on study leave.

“Typical of his pastoral attitude was his desire to reach out and to explore areas beyond defined boundaries both geographical and religious”, said Fr. Ratering. He added that Fr. Heer’s interest lay in bringing together people of different races and cultures through organizing Bible study circles, pilgrimages, charismatic meetings and celebrating Mass in small groups, particularly with the Indian community that he cherished dearly.

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