Posted On 2012-06-24 In Schoenstatters

Father Karl Widmer died

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

4 Responses

  1. delsaux says:

    jais bien connue le pere widmer et i ses frere hans .josephe ainsi que ces 2 soeur .. je suis sincerement desolé d avoir apris son deces par le site … jais passé beaucoup de temps a ses coté a ibikon ainsi qua l institue stavia a estavayé le lac voila c etait un brave homme de dieux si quelqu un pourrais avair les cordonné d un menbre de sa famille en suisse j en serais heureux


    May God all might in haven keep our father’s in his hands, we will miss his presence and his unforgettable action among us and to the mutumbian particularly.
    Rest in peace Father

  3. Jean-Marie Ntamubano says:

    I am very shocked and saddened by the very sad news of Fr Charles Widmer who passed away yesterday in Switzerland . I am out of words to console his family and Schoenstatt members for this loss. We will remember Fr Charles Widmer in our special prayer at Emmanuel Cathedral Durban. May God grant him eternal rest and eternal peace and keep Fr Widmer close to Him. May the good Lord give strength for the family and the loved ones to bear the great loss and the sorrow. Though no words can console those who are afflicted with this great loss, please be assured that Fr Charles is remembered fervently in our prayers as he was a good Samaritan to the poor and all those in need especially in our Parish Mutumba . Though Fr Charles Widmer has exited this earth, he has entered the heavenly kingdom of God to join the multitude of angels. May God embrace him and keep our dear Priest under His care. We will miss you Fr Charles Widmer….!

  4. ladislass-Prosper Nduwayezu says:

    I was one of who was working with Father Who was working with him from Mutumba to Mont Sion.
    Now I want to say:Thank you Father Karl you did everything and I wish to see you again.
    Hi was my Father is coming from my heart.

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