By Mauricio Langa, The Southern Cross
THE “historical commission” which examined thoroughly the whole documentation of the life and work of Abbot Francis Pfanner, chiefly from a historical and archival
point of view, has ended its work.
Its report was handed in by its president, Br Philippe Denis OP, lecturer in Church history, to Mgr Paul Nadal, episcopal delegate of Stanislaw Dziuba of Umzimkulu diocese.
With this, an important phase of the diocesan inquiry in the sainthood cause of the Austrian-born founder of the Mariannhill Missionaries is over.
Fr Yves La Fontaine, the postulator for the cause, has published a booklet entitled The Spirituality of Abbot Francis Pfanner and Consecrated Life Today.
The booklet is based on a talk on Abbot Pfanner which Fr La Fontaine gave to religious at the Emaus Heritage Centre in Umzimkulu earlier this year.
“I simply got the idea that I should take this opportunity to make my contribution available to a wider public of religious,” he said.
“And it was by looking more closely at what Pope Francis expected from religious during this special Year of Consecrated Life that I began to prepare myself.”
In the booklet he draws from his own experience in the consecrated life through the spirituality of Abbot Pfanner.
“It did some good to me personally. Then I thought: ‘Why could it not help others then?’ ”
He described the booklet as “a kind of examination of conscience in the light of elements which can be found in any religious institute”.
“Such a soul-searching can certainly be profitable for any religious. With God’s grace it can lead to some conversions, to a greater conformity to Christ’s sentiments, to true joy, as Pope Francis hopes, and to a lifestyle that will really be an alternative way
of living in today’s world,” Fr La Fontaine said.
The Spirituality of Abbot Francis Pfanner and Consecrated Life Today can be bought for R40 a copy from the Monastery repository on 031 700 1031.