On Friday, December 3, we lost Br Louis Hlatshwayo in a tragic accident. He was on his way from Vryheid to Inkamana in an Isuzu pick-up truck. With him in the car were Br Cyprian Mtimkhulu and one of our farm workers. It was around 7pm and quite dark with an overcast sky and a light drizzle. A few hundred metres from the turn-off to Inkamana Br Louis, who was driving the car, obviously lost control. His car went to the other side of the road and collided with a lorry that came from the opposite direction. Br Louis suffered serious head injuries and was immediately rushed to the Vryheid hospital, only 6 km away from the scene of the accident. The farm employee, who had several broken ribs, was also admitted. Br Cyprian escaped with slight injuries and walked across the field to Inkamana to report the mishap whereupon Fr Subprior Hermenegild Maier and Br Placidus Makhanya immediately went to the hospital to see Br Louis. They prayed over him and Fr Hermenegild administered the sacrament of holy unction. Br Louis showed no reaction. A little later he was declared dead.
Br Louis was born in 1973. His home was near Paulpietersburg in the Diocese of Eshowe. Although his parents were not catholic Br Louis was baptized in the Catholic Church and grew up under the care of his grandmother, a very devout Catholic. In 1995, he entered our monastery. He made his monastic profession in April 1997 and began to study for the priesthood. After finishing the 1999 academic year at the St Joseph's Scholasticate, Cedara, he returned to Inkamana where he liked to do the daily errands to Vryheid. It was on one of the return trips from town when the tragedy happened.
A Requiem Mass will be celebrated in the Abbey Church on Friday, Dec. 10. At the request of his family Br Louis will be buried at Bilanyoni / Paulpietersburg on December 11. Please join us in praying for his eternal rest.
Inkamana Abbey, December 4, 1999
Abbot Gernot Wottawah & Community
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