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Farewell to Fr. Candid Stoffel †

CH-po-Stoffel Candid 176-04-smallBorn     ············································  3.3.1936
Ordination·········································  3.4.1965
Missionary in Rhodesia-Zimbabwe ····   1966–2018
Pastor in Gokomere  ······················   1967
Pastor in Kwekwe ··························   1968–1970
Superior in St. Joseph´s  ·················   1971–1975
Superior in  Driefontein ···················   1976–1982
Parish priest in Redcliff ···················   1983–1989
Parish priest in Holy Cross  ··············   1990–2001
Regional superior in Driefontein  ·······   2002–2010
Flying councillor  ····························   2003–2008
Deceased ·······································   5.7.2018

 

Dear relatives and acquaintances of Candid,
Dear people of Visperterminen and the Valais,
Dear fellow-celebrants and confrères.

Visperterminen

This Catholic village in the Swiss Valais has given the Church many sisters and priests, as probably no other in Switzerland. Six members of the Stoffel families joined the SMB. Candid was the last survivor of them all.

Missionary Seminary Schöneck

During our summer holidays on the Simplon, it was a special pleasure for we seminarians to visit the Stoffel family where we were treated to a wonderful raclette and the famous Heida wine. We still like to remember it.

In the novitiate Candid and Jules Greber were given to each other as so-called guardian angels. They had to take care of and admonish one another. This resulted in a real friendship for the two of them. They visited one another in their families and travelled together. Jules, who is here with us today, told me that Candid was always very friendly. He was down to earth and well organized.

Missionary work

Candid worked in the working-class parishes of Kwekwe and Amaveni at a time when the steel industry was flourishing. His parishes consisted of native Shona people and also coloured and European parishioners. Later he was assigned the important missions of St. Joseph and Holy Cross in Chirumanzu. This is the area with the most Catholics since the Jesuits founded these missions from Driefontein as early as 1914 and shortly thereafter. Most of the sisters, priests and brothers hail from this area. Candid was chosen to be Dean and elected to the Diocesan Council. During the war of liberation, he had to lead the great mission of Driefontein together with several brothers and sisters. It sometimes came to unpleasant contacts with the Rhodesian army and at night again with fighters for the independence of the country. (Candid once hid a white man under his bed and met him again some time ago; this was Mr. Goddard who originally built and had promised to repair the Driefontein Dam, which irrigates the missionary farm.)

Regional Council, Regional Superior and General Council

Candid was also a valued confrère for our SMB community. Accordingly, he was asked to serve as Regional Councilor, Regional Superior and even as a so-called “flying General Councilor” (his residence always remained Driefontein). He was proud of his friend Jules, who held the same office, although Candid admitted that they both were in danger of being sent away from the Seminary at one stage.

Illness

For some time already, Candid suffered from health problems. Often, he exclaimed: “The sooner the better”, meaning, that he was ready to put back his life into God´s hand.

We are happy, that now he may experience eternal peace in God.

Anthony Wey
Regional Superior in Zimbabwe