Werner Bardenhewer

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Werner Bardenhewer
Werner Bardenhewer.jpg
Bardenhewer in 2012
Joseph Werner Bardenhewer

(1929-01-30)30 January 1929
Died10 April 2019(2019-04-10) (aged 90)
Wiesbaden, Hesse, Germany
OccupationCatholic priest

Joseph Werner Bardenhewer (30 January 1929 − 10 April 2019) was a German Catholic priest. He was Dean of Wiesbaden, the state capital of Hesse, at the central parish St. Bonifatius from 1974 to 1996. He served for two years at the Eibingen Abbey founded by Hildegard of Bingen. In 1999, he founded the Wiesbaden chapter of the charity organisation Africa Action, which provides help in health care and education in countries of the Sahel region. He was active as a priest until his death, and had traveled to West Africa to contact the partner organization.[ which? ] He received Burkina Faso's highest national award, the Knight of the country's National Order, in 2016.

Catholic Church Christian church led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

A dean, in a church context, is a cleric holding certain positions of authority within a religious hierarchy. The title is used mainly in the Anglican Communion, the Roman Catholic Church, and many Lutheran denominations. A dean's assistant is called a subdean.

Wiesbaden Place in Hesse, Germany

Wiesbaden is a city in central western Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hesse. As of January 2018, it had 289,544 inhabitants, plus approximately 19,000 United States citizens. The Wiesbaden urban area is home to approx. 560,000 people.


Early life

Born Joseph Werner Bardenhewer [1] in Arnsberg [2] on 30 January 1929, [3] Bardenhewer moved with his family to Wiesbaden in 1937, [2] where he attended the Diltheyschule  [ de ]. He studied at the Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen and in Fribourg, Switzerland. [4] He was ordained a priest on 8 December 1955. [2]

Arnsberg Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Arnsberg is a town in the Hochsauerland county, in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is the location of the Regierungsbezirk Arnsberg's administration and one of the three local administration offices of the Hochsauerlandkreis.

Fribourg Place in Switzerland

Fribourg or Freiburg is the capital of the Swiss canton of Fribourg and the district La Sarine. It is located on both sides of the river Saane/Sarine, on the Swiss Plateau, and is a major economic, administrative and educational center on the cultural border between German and French Switzerland (Romandy). Its Old City, one of the best-maintained in Switzerland, sits on a small rocky hill above the valley of the Sarine.

Ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart as clergy to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. The process and ceremonies of ordination vary by religion and denomination. One who is in preparation for, or who is undergoing the process of ordination is sometimes called an ordinand. The liturgy used at an ordination is sometimes referred to as an ordination.

Religious career

His first position was as Kaplan (assisting priest) in Nauort from 1 January 1956. [2] In mid-1959, he was called to the administration of the Diocese of Limburg by Alexander Stein, to serve as the Diözesansekretär of the Sozialreferat (Department for Social Affairs). From 1962, he was priest for the Berufsschule in Wiesbaden. From 1967, he was vicar of the Wiesbaden parish St. Andreas, and became its parish pries t on 1 November 1968. Simultaneously, he was dean of the section Wiesbaden-Mitte from 1971 to 1974. [2]

Nauort Place in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Nauort is an Ortsgemeinde – a community belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde – in the Westerwaldkreis in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

A vicar is a representative, deputy or substitute; anyone acting "in the person of" or agent for a superior. Linguistically, vicar is cognate with the English prefix "vice", similarly meaning "deputy". The title appears in a number of Christian ecclesiastical contexts, but also as an administrative title, or title modifier, in the Roman Empire. In addition, in the Holy Roman Empire a local representative of the emperor, perhaps an archduke, might be styled "vicar".

Bardenhewer was parish priest of Wiesbaden central Catholic parish St. Bonifatius, Wiesbaden, from 16 June 1974 until his retirement on 31 January 1996. [2] The officeholder has traditionally also been dean[ clarification needed ] of Wiesbaden. His focus was social work both in the parish and beyond, the deepening of faith in services and especially a 1992 action "Aufbruch '92", and spiritual communication in several groups in the parish. [2] He was inspired by the Second Vatican Council, and named the new parish house Roncalli-Haus after Pope John XXIII. [4] After his retirement at age 67, Bardenhewer served for two years as Spiritual, the priest of Eibingen Abbey in Rüdesheim, which Hildegard of Bingen had founded. [2]

St. Bonifatius, Wiesbaden Church in Hesse, Germany

St. Bonifatius in Wiesbaden, Germany, is the central Catholic parish and church in the capital of Hesse. The present building was designed by architect Philipp Hoffmann in Gothic Revival style and built from 1844 to 1849. Its twin steeples of 68 m dominate the Luisenplatz. The parish is part of the Diocese of Limburg.

Second Vatican Council Roman Catholic ecumenical council held in Vatican City from 1962 to 1965

The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, commonly known as the Second Vatican Council or Vatican II, addressed relations between the Catholic Church and the modern world. The council, through the Holy See, was formally opened under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and was closed under Pope Paul VI on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1965.

Bardenhewer (fourth from right) between Bishop Ambroise from Maradi, Niger, and Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul with members of the board of Africa Action in Wiesbaden in 2011 AaD Wieczorek-Zeul 20110815.jpg
Bardenhewer (fourth from right) between Bishop Ambroise from Maradi, Niger, and Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul with members of the board of Africa Action in Wiesbaden in 2011

Humanitarian activities

After his return to Wiesbaden, he founded a charity organisation in 1999, the Freundeskreis Wiesbaden or Wiesbaden group of the africa action / Deutschland  [ de ] which supports health care, especially fighting blindness, and education in the countries of the Sahel. [2] [3] [5] The initiative came from a prisoner sentenced for life for whom Bardenhewer cared. The man had seen on TV that in Africa, eye surgery for only DM30[ clarification needed ] (US$15) could help a blind patient to see. [5] With the help of the Caritas, Bardenhewer connected the group in Wiesbaden to the existing ghana action. The Wiesbaden group made the building of five eye clinics in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger possible, and enabled young people to study ophthalmology or train to be opticians. [6] The fifth clinic in Mopti, Mali, was named after Bardenhewer in 2011, "Centre ophtalmologique Père Joseph Werner Bardenhewer". [1] [7] He published a book by the cardinal of Burkina Faso, Philippe Ouédraogo, translated into German as Gott allein genügt (God alone suffices) by Stefanie Götzmann in 2018. [8] [9]

Sahel transition zone in Africa

The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south. Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the south-central latitudes of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea. The name is derived from the Arabic word sāḥil meaning "coast" or "shore" in a figurative sense, while the name in Swahili means "coastal [dweller]" in a literal sense.

Caritas Internationalis confederation of Catholic relief, development and social service organisations

Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 165 Catholic relief, development and social service organisations operating in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Burkina Faso country in Africa

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa. It covers an area of around 274,200 square kilometres (105,900 sq mi) and is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north; Niger to the east; Benin to the southeast; Togo and Ghana to the south; and Ivory Coast to the southwest. The July 2018 population estimate by the United Nations was 19,751,651. Burkina Faso is a francophone country, with French as the official language of government and business. Roughly 40% of the population speaks the Mossi language. Formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta (1958–1984), the country was renamed "Burkina Faso" on 4 August 1984 by then-President Thomas Sankara. Its citizens are known as Burkinabé. Its capital is Ouagadougou.

Bardenhewer traveled to West Africa, seeking direct contact with the institutions there, such as in 2018 to Burkina Faso. [10] He was known there as Père Joseph. [11] A street in the capital Ouagadougou was named after Wiesbaden to honor the help from the Wiesbaden group. [6] In 2016, Bardenhewer was awarded the highest award of Burkina Faso, Knight of the country's National Order. [11] He celebrated his 90th birthday in a monastery in Burkina Faso, as part of one of his project journeys. [4] On 24 February 2019, he celebrated a mass of thanks at Mariä Heimsuchung in Wiesbaden-Dotzheim. [5]

Ouagadougou City in Centre Region, Burkina Faso

Ouagadougou, also Vagaga, is the capital of Burkina Faso and the administrative, communications, cultural, and economic centre of the nation. It is also the country's largest city, with a population of 2,200,000 in 2015. The city's name is often shortened to Ouaga. The inhabitants are called ouagalais. The spelling of the name Ouagadougou is derived from the French orthography common in former French African colonies.

Mariä Heimsuchung, Wiesbaden Church in Germany, Germany

Mariä Heimsuchung in Wiesbaden, Hesse, Germany, is a Catholic church in Kohlheck, part of Wiesbaden's suburb of Dotzheim, consecrated in 1966. It is dedicated to the Visitation (Heimsuchung). The tall concrete building is a landmark of Wiesbaden. It features two large triptychs by the Wiesbaden painter Otto Ritschl. The parish Mariä Heimsuchung is now part of a larger parish, in the Diocese of Limburg.


Bardenhewer died on 10 April 2019 in a hospital in Wiesbaden. [5]

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  1. 1 2 "Le candidat Soumaïla Cissé après la conférence régionale de l'URD à Tominian : "Nous devons respecter nos institutions malgré les difficultés du moment ..."". malijet.com (in French). 15 February 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Dahlhoff, Benjamin (8 December 2015). "Pfarrer i. R. Werner Bardenhewer" (in German). St. Bonifatius, Wiesbaden. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  3. 1 2 "Pfarrer Bardenhewer wird 90" (in German). Diocese of Limburg. 9 January 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  4. 1 2 3 Hollingshaus, Anke (30 January 2019). "Früherer Wiesbadener Stadtdekan Werner Bardenhewer feiert seinen 90. in Burkina Faso". Wiesbadener Kurier (in German). Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Sonderausgabe 12. April 2019 / Wir trauern um Pfarrer Joseph Werner Bardenhewer" (in German). africa action / Deutschland  [ de ]. 12 April 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  6. 1 2 Hollingshaus, Anke (January 2018). "Hilfe für Blinde: Früherer Wiesbadener Stadtdekan Werner Bardenhewer besucht mit Delegation Burkino Faso". Wiesbadener Kurier (in German). Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  7. Gerber, Manfred (18 February 2011). "Bardenhewer als Namensgeber – Afrikahilfe Augenklinik in Mali nach dem früheren Stadtdekan benannt". Wiesbadener Tagblatt (in German). Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  8. "Allein für Gott" (in German). Echter. 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  9. Kardinal Philippe Ouédraogo: Gott allein genügt. Translated from French to German by Stefanie Götzmann, edited by Werner Bardenhewer. Echter Verlag, 2018, ISBN 978-3-429-05317-8.
  10. Travers, Thérèse (January 2018). "Bericht über die Reise nach Burkina Faso / Januar 2018" (PDF) (in German). africa action /Deutschland. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  11. 1 2 Grella, Peter (27 February 2016). ""Père Joseph ist ein Träumer" / Die Republik Burkina Faso verleiht dem früheren Stadtdekan Werner Bardenhewer die höchste Auszeichnung des Landes" (PDF). Wiesbadener Kurier (in German). Retrieved 17 January 2019.