The 34th International Convention of KOLPING INTERNATIONAL took place in Bensberg near Cologne from 28 to 30 September. 152 delegates from 43 countries in Europe, America, Africa and Asia met there to discuss and decide together on the work of the association. The International Convention is the highest decision-making body of the association.
The event was opened by Archbishop em. and Kolping brother Dr. Ludwig Schick, who conveyed a warm greeting to the participants on behalf of the German Bishops’ Conference and the Protector of KOLPING INTERNATIONAL. Then, the delegations of all national associations were welcomed with a cheerful “hello” and there was a great joy of reunion. An emotional highlight was the welcome of Vasyl Savka, Managing Director of Kolping Ukraine, who received much applause for the dedicated work of his association since the outbreak of the war. Pope Francis had sent greetings from the Vatican, read out by General Praeses Msgr. Christoph Huber.
On the first day of the International Convention, the report of the International Executive Board and discussions of various motions were on the agenda. In a roundtable discussion, representatives from several continents explained how their countries manage to increase the number of new members. The concepts ranged from personal bonding of people, dedicated Kolping work and active youth work to a focus on evangelization and concrete development assistance. The first day of the Convention ended with the celebration of mass with Archbishopf em. Schick, who was assisted by Kolping priests from all continents. With this mass, the “Kolping is sacred to me” campaign of Kolping Germany came to a ceremonial end. German praeses Hans-Joachim Wahl handed over at the altar the signatures collected from the petition. 60,000 signatures from all over the world manifest the plea of the international Kolping community to the Church to consider its founder and pioneer Adolph Kolping for sainthood. German praeses Wahl made it clear: “The campaign ends here, but we will continue to pray for a canonization.” For all those who wish to ask Blessed Adolph Kolping for help and intercession in a special matter, General Praeses Huber presented today at the International Convention a new novena drawn up by him. The texts of this nine-day prayer can be downloaded at www.kolping.net/en/about-us/community-of-prayer