In October this year the ten-year term of General Praeses Msgr. Ottmar Dillenburg will end. He does not run for re-election. “After a total of 22 years in office as Diocesan Praeses in Trier, as National Praeses of the Kolping Society of Germany and finally as General Praeses, after so many eventful and wonderful years of duty in the international Kolping community, I will return to my local bishopric”, General Praeses Dillenburg states.
Looking back on the past decades, Msgr. Ottmar Dillenburg says gratefully: “Meeting with Kolping brothers and Kolping sisters has always been an impressive experience because they often live under highly adverse circumstances and still have the passion and energy to do voluntary work. This has been a characteristic feature of Kolping on all continents: no matter whether people are active in Kolping Families in Asia, Africa, Latin America or Europe, they never rest when they managed to improve their livelihood but they keep trying to support those who are still vulnerable.“
In his office as General Praeses and successor to Blessed Adolph Kolping, it was his responsibility to head KOLPING INTERNATIONAL and to safeguard the global community of some 400,000 Kolping members of Kolping Families in 60 countries. In retrospect, the outgoing General Praeses particularly appreciates the practiced solidarity within the association, which is shown in the large number of partnerships between continents of diocesan and national associations and Kolping Families.
On behalf of the International Executive Board, General Secretary Dr. Markus Demele expresses the gratitude of the association for the dedicated work of Msgr. Dillenburg: “It is an uphill task for a priest to head a globally operating non-profit association with a long-standing tradition which is managed on all other levels by lay people. Ottmar Dillenburg has met this challenge with great empathy, experience and authentic compassion for all the people who are active in the association. We are grateful to look back on some very successful years for KOLPING INTERNATIONAL and we will continue to use the remaining months until he will leave office at the General Secretariat in Cologne to work for the benefit of people who share their strength and energy with those who are suffering in these difficult times.“
The date for the official farewell ceremony for General Praeses Dillenburg will be announced in due time.