Back to search results
Name: RETTIG, Kilian (Rev. Brother)
Nee: 'Brother Quillian'
Birth Date: 15.11.1868 Altscheier, Baden
Death Date: 6.2.1933 Nairobi
First Date: 1894
Last Date: 1933
Profession: Missionary blacksmith - Holy Ghost Fathers
Area: Nairobi, St. Austin's
Book Reference: North, Red Book 1912, Barnes
North - Blacksmith; Bagamoyo at first, later Zanzibar, Bura & Mangu
Red Book 1912 - K.G. Retting - Kyambu
Barnes Buried in St Austin's cem.
Henry J. Koren, Spiritan East African Memorial
, 1994 A blacksmith by trade, he entered the Congregation in'1891 and made his vows
on November 1, 1893 at Cellule. Together with three Fathers and three Brothers, he could sail on November 12, 1894 from Marseille for Zanzibar. The bishop placed him at Bagamoyo where, of course, he looked after the orphans and operated the iron works. Robust as he was, he did not escape the frequent illnesses that plagued everyone. Once he had to be rushed to the Zanzibar hospital and its doctor gave him at most a few hours of life, but he survived nonetheless.
ln Zanzlbar he assisted Brother Cyriacus in the construction of the bishop's cathedral and on some large jobs for the Sultan. Both Brothers had the honor of being appointed directors of the royal public works department there. Later we find him inland at Bura and Mangu, always engaged in construction work. When a sun stroke did serious damage to his hearing and sight, he went on sick leave in 1908. On his retum he went to Nairobi, where he helped building the beautiful St. Austin's church.
World War One surprised him in Nairobi, but he somehow escaped being intemed as an enemy alien by remaining inconspicuous. ln 1917 he went to Kiambu, whose isolation would favor being officially forgotten. There he lived and worked like a saint till the end of his life, doing all the material work of that mission, from caring for its coffee plantation to supervising the kitchen and being the sacristan. He betame greatly loved by the Kikuyu, never offending anyone by a lack of respect for their human dignity and always willing to listen to their endless palavers. Suffering from cancer of the stomach, he was transported to Nairobi, but an operation only made things worse. He died there a month later.
Back to search results