Dear Kolping sisters and Kolping brothers all over the world,
It was to take place from October 25-27, 2021: the Pilgrimage to Rome of KOLPING INTERNATIONAL on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the beatification of Adolph Kolping. The planning and the program are far advanced – not only in the General Secretariat in Cologne but also in many Kolping Families and Diocesan and National Kolping Associations.
Against the background of the COVID 19 pandemic, we received increasingly sceptical and justified inquiries in the past weeks: Will we be able to celebrate together with many thousands of Kolping sisters and Kolping brothers in Rome? Will hygiene concepts continue to keep us at a distance during church services and will we be allowed to sing the Kolping hymn? Will we be able to book hotel rooms when many hotels do not know yet whether they will financially survive the next months? Will enough people be vaccinated against the virus by then?
Despite the prospect of a vaccine, we were unable to answer too many questions positively, neither with certainty nor with well-founded hope, to ourselves and to all those who are planning their trip to Rome.
In order to give security in planning to all those who are currently preparing their stay in Rome with great anticipation, the International Executive Board of KOLPING INTERNATIONAL decided at its recent meeting to postpone the Pilgrimage to Rome by one year to 2022. To wait until the spring of next year would mean cancellation costs and great disappointment for many people if they were to cancel their visit. Now we have the chance to look forward to the year 2022 in Rome with good courage and full of anticipation. From October 25-27, 2022 we will hopefully commemorate the beatification of Adolph Kolping as a community of Kolping brothers and sisters in the usual manner, celebrate, sing, and pray for his canonization.
We hope that you understand this decision. For the coming months we wish you and your families above all health, the strength of hope and God’s rich blessings.
Warm regards and “Treu Kolping” from the General Secretariat in Cologne,
Msgr. Ottmar Dillenburg, General Praeses
Dr. Markus Demele, General Secretary
Karin Wollgarten, Managing Director
Unfortunately, binding plans and agreements with the institutions in Rome are not yet possible at this time. However, as in past decades, we are planning a grand opening ceremony, participation in the Pope’s audience, a march with banners and prayer, and a solemn closing service.