On September 1, 1921, the Propaganda Congregation entrusted a new mission field to the Benedictine Congregation of St. Ottilien. It comprised Zululand and parts of Natal in South Africa. The first group of Benedictines arrived nine months later in Natal and on August 3, 1922, they started a new mission at lnkamana which was then just a farm with a few small buildings on it. These pioneers were experienced missionaries who had been working in East Africa before, until World War I forced them to leave that country. Within 25 years they managed to erect 10 major mission stations in Natal as well as 4 hospitals and a great number of schools. Meanwhile lnkamana became more and more the centre of the Benedictines. The priests there served growing Christian communities in a vast area, the brothers intensified their gardening and farming activities and began to train Africans in the different workshops. Together with the Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing the monks built up a High School at lnkamana which soon attracted African boys and girls from ail over Southern Africa. A proper monastery building was erected in 1949 and soon afterwards the brothers built an architecturally impressive church which was consecrated in 1953. The outward development of lnkamana as the headquarters of the Benedictines in Natal went hand in hand with a monastic consolidation. On October 10, 1961, lnkamana was declared a Prioratus Simplex and on June 21, 1968, was raised to the rank of a Conventual Priory.
Bishops who are or were monks of the Benedictine Congregation of St. Ottilien, i.e. Missionary Benedictines of Inkamana Abbey:
Bishop Thomas Spreiter 1921 - 1943
Apostolic Administrator Father Theodos Schall 1943 - 1947
Bishop Aurelian Bilgeri 1947 - 1973
Apostolic Administrator Father Elmar Kimmel 1973 - 1975
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