SWITZERLAND, Fr. Edwin Germann / org. Father Karl Widmer was born on March 11, 1931 and he died on June 19th at the Elsabethenheim assisted living residence in Lucerne. He worked in Burundi until 2006, where he was totally committed to the poorest of the poor with great enthusiasm. The funeral will be on June 22, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. in the parish of Horw. Then he will be buried in the cemetery of that city.
Father Karl Widmer was born in Bütschwil, Sankt Gallen, and he studied in Gossau and in Freiberg. His studies were interrupted several times because he was in the hospital. On March 18, 1961, he was ordained as a priest in the community of the Pallotine Fathers. His first task was as director of the Saint Klemens School in Ebikon. In 1968 he passed to the community of the Schoenstatt Fathers.
After serving as vicar general in Gerliswil, Lucerne for three years, he was named chaplain of the Stavia Language School in Estavayer-le-lac. He worked in the Branch of the sick of the Schoenstatt Movement in Switzerland, and for several years in Cambrai, France. He was the spiritual director of the youth in Suhrental for many years. Through his initiative, he erected wayside shrines of the Blessed Mother in many parishes; where people always pray even now.
His commitment to the poorest of the poor in Burundi
After a brief period as administrator of the General Board in Schoenstatt, he once again assumed a large task. From 1989 to 2006, he was the administrator of the community of the Schoenstatt Fathers in Mutumba and at Mount Zion Gikungu in Burundi. The crown of his life mission was building the Shrine and the Pilgrims’ Church at the Schoenstatt Center of Bujumbura. At the same time, his heart was completely and widely open to the poorest among the poor. He, who suffered a physical impairment, helped many people who had some impediment. During the last years of his life, he untiringly preached missions in many parishes. Then he courageously practiced detachment from himself.
As a child, he dreamed of being a builder or a clown. Both things helped him in his priestly work: his practical intelligence, his precision, and his good sense of humor.
In every Holy Mass “toward 2014” that is celebrated on Saturday mornings in the Original Shrine, the members of the Movement who died during the previous week are remembered. This time the prayer will also be for Father Widmer, precisely in the Holy Mass that will be celebrated in covenant with Tanzania, a neighboring country of Burundi. It is a love-filled gesture of the heavenly allies.
Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX, USA