AFRICA/SOUTH AFRICA - Catholic priest dedicated to assisting HIV/AIDS patients found dead

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

Rome (Fides Service)- “Father Gerard was highly esteemed as a priest and a tireless worker to help the poor and the sick, especially those with AIDS” sources in the diocese of De Aar, South Africa told Fides. British born Father Gerard Fitzsimons was murdered on Saturday 2 October in Colesberg but the incident was reported only today.
The priest was found dead in his home next to the Church of Saint Mary and Saint Joseph. The people were in church waiting for Father Gerard to say Mass. When he didn’t come, the people called the police who broke the front door and found the priest’s body on the floor.
Father Gerard Fitzsimons, aged 63 had worked in South Africa for 7 years and he was especially involved in assisting people with HIV/AIDS.
“Colesberg is in De Aar a vast, scarcely populated diocese with only a small Catholic community” Father Efrem Tresoldi, spokesman of the Southern African Bishops’ Conference told Fides. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 13/10/2004 righe 17 parole 185)