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History

Mr Wittingstall gave 10 morgen for a mission. Fr Tremmel and Bro. Hüber started in 1955. First they built up Eglington, Tingaleni, where they stayed in an old camper. In 1958, Mr Jones tried to register the property but he was told that the government has the right to expropriate any time because Acornhoek was a “Black Area.” It was also policy of the government to hand over the area to black ministers of religion and, therefore, the Catholic Church should train black bishops to work there. The Maria Assumpta church in Acornhoek was opened and blessed on 29 February 1963.

Fr Tremmel and Bro. Hüber started in Acornhoek in 1955. In 1962, Fr Hornauer took over: he was supported by Fr Lipp and later by Fr Sonnenburger. In 1968, Fr Graf moved to Acornhoek: he was involved in development work. During his time, weaving was introduced. This project was later continued by Bro. Frey, directed from Burgersfort where Fr Charles Kuppelwieser had started the same project already earlier. In 1969, Fr Graf moved to Maria Trost to be director of the Diocesan Pastroal Centre and Fr Matordes settled in Acornhoek. Besides his manifold building activities, he became more and more involved with the refugees from Mozambique, organising and channelling the relief work. In 1975, Fr Bourhill tried Acornhoek, but in 1979, we had to bury him. He died of a heart attack. Fr Chistè took his place till 1983, when Fr Ellinger moved to Acornhoek together with Fr Casillas. In the meantime, Bro. Padovan had arrived and got involved in youth work in the parish. In 1986, Fr Sandri and Fr Serale kept life going in Acornhoek. In 1988, Fr Serale left and Fr Chistè moved back to Aconhoek. In 1991, Fr Chistè took charge and was supported by Fr Luís Filipe Dias and Fr José Luis Roman Medina. Bro. Artur Pinto, who had taken the place of Bro. Francis Padovan to continue the youth work, left the country and Fr Sandri moved to Waterval to tackle the Tsonga Bible project. In 1995, Fr Chistè moved to Mamelodi and Fr Grohe took his place in Acornhoek, supported by Fr Miguel Zubizarreta. In 1996, Fr Grohe moved to Burgersfort and Fr Matordes returned to Acornhoek. In 1997, Fr Roman moved to the Study House, after five years in Acornhoek, and Fr Carranza filled the post. Bro. Artur moved to Burgersfort. Fr Carranza was now parish priest, assisted by Fr Miguel and Fr Andrés García. Fr Chistè and Fr Carranza changed (swopt) place in 1998. Fr Andrés moved to Silverton, Pretoria, in 1999 and his place was taken by Fr Antonio Delgado. In 2003, Fr Miguel was appointed parish priest of Acornhoek. When Fr Miguel left, Fr Antonio had to face opposition in the parish and it took quite a while till things calmed down. Fr Antonio returned to his home province and Fr Francico “Chico” de Medeiros slowly brought things back to normal. Since 2011, Acornhoek, Lydenburg and Waterval are the only parishes in Witbank Dioceses entrusted to the Combonis.

During all these years, building activities never stopped: chapels and churches, preschools, improvements, repairs. Acornhoek parish is spread out over a wide area, bordering Waterval and, theoretically, Burgersfort at the Strydom Tunnel. In recent years, Acornhoek welcomed various Comboni priests: Fr Ivan Paucar, José de la Cruz, Jérôme Soku and Jean Philippe Lokpo and Aldrin.

Year    Fathers Brothers
1955–61 Tremmel Hüber
1962–65 Hornauer Gruber
1964–65 Hornauer and Lipp Gruber
1965–68 Hornauer and Sonnenburger Gruber
1968 Graf and Sonnenburger  
1969–71 Graf, Sonnenburger and Matordes  
1972–74 Graf and Matordes  
1975–79 Bourhill and Matordes  
1980–82 Matordes and Chistè Padovan
1983 Chistè, Casillas and Ellinger Padovan
1985 Ellinger Padovan
1986 Ellinger and Serale Padovan
1987–88 Sandri and Serale Padovan
1988–90 Sandri and Chistè Pinto
1991–94 Chistè, Filipe Dias and Roman Medina Pinto (till 1991)
1995 Grohe, Miguel Angel Zubizarreta and Medina
1996 Matordes and Zubizarreta  
1997 Carranza, Zubizarreta and Andrés Garcia  
1998 Chistè and Zubizarreta  
1999–2003 Chistè, Zubizarreta and Antonio Delgado  
2004 Zubizarreta, Delgado and José Manuel Román Muñoz  
2005 Zubizarreta, Delgado and Román Muñoz  
2006 Zubizarreta and Delgado  
2007 Zubizarreta and Delgado  
2008 Zubizarreta, Delgado and Edgardo Alfonso Vizcarra  
2009 Chico de Medeiros, José de la Cruz Hinojosa, Sergio Ivan Paucar Simbaña  
2010 Medeiros, José de la Cruz and Ivan Paucar and Sch. Jérôme Soku Nerio (8th March 2010, ordained deacon by Bishop Sandri on the 05th December 2010).  
2011 Medeiros, José de la Cruz, Ivan Paucar, Jérôme Soku Nerio and Jean-Philippe Lokpo  
2012 José de la Cruz, Jérôme Soku Nerio and Jean-Philippe Lopko  
2013

 

2014

 

2015

José de la Cruz, Jérôme Soku Nerio and Jean-Philippe Lopko

José de la Cruz,  Jérôme Soku Nerio, Jean-Philippe Lopko and Aldrin

Jérôme Soku Nerio, Jean-Philippe Lopko and Aldrin

 

 

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