KST PHILOSOPHYPARTICIPATION IN THE CHURCH AND SOCIETY: KST IN THE CHURCH
Father Kolping developed his organization on a distinctly religious foundation. For him, religion and Christian living
were the basis and guidelines for everything that one does, and this is still so for Kolping members world-wide. What
matters here is an active Christian living, the practical love for one’s neighbour, which is not limited to participating in
the life of the Church.
The Kolping Society sees itself as part of the Church in society and, at the same time, as part of society in the Church. Its members bring customs, developments, and the responsibilities of society into the Church. The Kolping Society is a lay organization, whose members are fully aware of being at home in the Church and, as responsible Christians, want to take part in shaping the Church and society. The Praeses – as a rule a Catholic Priest – bears the pastoral responsibility for the Kolping Family and works with the members on enabling and partnership basis. However, the lay people are also responsible for the pastoral ministry in the Kolping Family and the Kolping Society.
The Kolping Society of Tanzania as part of the Church must also cooperate in fulfi lling Jesus Christ’s mission: “You then are to go and make disciples of all the nations and baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you”. (Matt. 28,19) The program of the Kolping Society embraces the basic functions of the Church: Proclamation, Liturgy, Social services and Secular ministry.
PROCLAMATION - GIVING WITNESS (MARTYRIA)
Adolph Kolping understood everything which he did in the area of social work as always being a part of his proclamation of the Good News. Like Adolph Kolping, the KST should view it as its most important task in every Kolping family to fi rst of all bring youths and adults closer to the gospel, to a belief in Jesus Christ and to a bond with the church. The Kolping family offers a unique opportunity for this purpose. The community of those of the same age and the same world view is an excellent place for fi nding one’s sense of self, for fi nding orientation and dialogue. At the centre of proclamation lies the family, the nucleus of social life instituted by God. The Program of the International Kolping Society states: “The Kolping Society regards marriage and family as the most important prerequisites for the personal development of the individual and thus also for the evolution of a moral society.” That, as the nucleus of every human community, the family be preserved and strengthened through the appropriate assistance from legislators is one of the basic demands of the Kolping Society. It is not without reason that the local association is called Kolping- Family (commonly known as Local Kolping Family - LKF): They indeed form family-like communities, in which the members – whether alone or with their natural families – experience solidarity and community.
Being-a-Christian always also means being-a-Church. This demands from all Kolping members a clear and open confession to the Church of Jesus Christ. We must love the Church. One who loves the Church will always readily take on responsibility for it in interior and living communion with the pope, bishops and priests. One who loves the church will also willingly suffer with it because he knows that it has not yet achieved its goal and is therefore subject to weakness and fault and is vulnerable to external attacks.