10th death anniversary of Monsignor Hartmut Kania

12:06 PM | By | Category: News, Social work

Monsignore Hartmut Kania

Memorial of the 10th death anniversary of Monsignor Hartmut Kania (born 26th May 1942, died 17th March 2001) Catholic priest, prelate, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in St. Petersburg, president of Caritas St. Petersburg, Director of Caritas Russia, founder of the Maltese Knights Hospitalers’ relief organization in St. Petersburg, first administrator of the Maria Visitation Parish after its return to the Church by the authorities. He dedicated the last ten years of his life to the people in need in Russia. At the beginning of the 90ties, when Father Harmut came to Russia to serve as a priest, there was a time of great changes and human misery. Life, as it used to be before, collapsed altogether. There was almost nothing to buy in magazines, even food necessary for living. With the factories closed the production was stopped and unemployment was growing. People seemed to be left alone with their problems. The Soviet state ceased to exist. And the new leaders did not seem to be interested in solving the people’s problems, but in getting into power and becoming rich. Ordinary people needed help and support. In 1991 Fr. Hartmut received an order from his bishop to go to Russia, in the cold Petersburg winter, along with a load of needs of the people to deal with. The members of his parish council, of whom he was the president, knew the people and pointed them out to him. So he came to Lenigrad to help the needy solve their problems and carry with them the burdens of their life… A group of those who thought similarly gathered around him and together with him took care of orphanages, hospitals, old people’s homes to help lonely  and elderly people there and pass their love to them. In 1993 the Caritas St. Petersburg was officially registered. Caritas contributed a lot of help within the charitable projects. They helped the needy not only financially, but also by giving advice how to solve their own problems. Thanks to the initiative of Fr. Hartmut a lot of institutions were opened in St. Petersburg, for example a school preparing specialists for social projects, an old people’s home, a home for crippled and disabled young people, the so-called “Bishop Maletzki Center”, a shelter for the homeless, and a children’s home “Insel” (Island) for the street children. Fr. Harmut was able to impress us with his enthusiasm, with his ability to see the essence of the matter and easily find appropriate solutions to apparently unsolvable problems. There was probably nobody who would turn to Fr. Hartmut for help and not receive it. He reacted quickly in face of human misery and suffering. He did not differentiate between people who needed help and the others. There was no difference- in his eyes- everybody needed help, no matter who they were, like for example those charged with murder, orphans, disabled, alcoholics, homeless or lonely pensioners. They all could count on his help with solving their problems, his care and his love. Those who lived close to him were trained to carry out works of charity and live the faith in the “mustard seed”. “So you see, his faith was active along with his deeds and became perfect by what he did”. (James 2,22) Fr. Hartmut loved Russia and us who live in that country. He knew the Russian people, experienced Russia’s problems and wished it could come right; that nobody is homeless, that there are no abandoned children and that old people are not forsaken. In winter 2001 Fr. Hartmut died after a short disease. Today, ten years after his death, he keeps living among us in the works of the love of the neighbor.

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