Die Website der afrikanische katholische Gemeinden in Nordrhein-Westfalen.

Die Beginnings of the african community in Essen

Essen bazarThe yearning in the heart of man for his creator moved some African men and women residing in the diocese of Essen to look for a place where they could worship God in the way they were used to in Africa. So, in June 1997, some Ghanaians sought the assistance of a German priest, Rev. Fr. Günther Reinbach, of Herz Jesu Kirche in Oberhausen who accepted to celebrate the Holy Mass with them once in a month.

After some time, Rev. Fr. Jacob Hevi was introduced to the community and so had to take over the celebration of the Masses until he left to Austria for studies. Rev. Fr. Francis Tawia took over the administration of sacraments in the community from Rev. Fr. Hevi. At this time, the Mass was celebrated in twi, one of the Ghanaian languages.

The language of the Mass changed from twi to English when two Nigerians joined the community. It was at this time that the community became an English-speaking African community. Shortly afterwards, Rev. Fr. Tawia left but had to introduce to the community, another priest, Rev. Fr. Nicholas Apertogbor. The latter was there for some time and had to leave. Then came Rev. Fr. Robert Okongwu, who was, in June 2001, named the Chaplain of African Catholic community by the Catholic Diocese of Essen.

During these years, the community was a community on the move since she had not a permanent place of worship. After the community had left Oberhausen, she worshipped in St. Barbara Church and St. Engelbert Church Essen. Today, the community is at St. Gertrude Church, Essen. And the community comprises of people from Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tanzania, Kenya and other English-speaking African countries. Moreover, it is a community that is open to all.

Rev. Fr. Robert Okongwu shepherded the African community from 2001 till the End of February 2011.