Inkamana Abbey

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Inkamana Abbey
Inkamana Abbey is located in KwaZulu-Natal
Inkamana Abbey
Location within KwaZulu-Natal
Inkamana Abbey is located in South Africa
Inkamana Abbey
Location within KwaZulu-Natal
Monastery information
Other names Sacred Heart Abbey
Order Ottilien Congregation, OSB
Established 1922
Mother house St. Ottilien Archabbey
Diocese Eshowe
Abbot Godfrey Sieber
Important associated figures 42 (2009)[1]
Location Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Coordinates 27°49′07″S 30°48′53″E / 27.81861°S 30.81472°E / -27.81861; 30.81472Coordinates: 27°49′07″S 30°48′53″E / 27.81861°S 30.81472°E / -27.81861; 30.81472

Inkamana Abbey, also called Sacred Heart Abbey, Inkamana is a Benedictine abbey in Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Eshowe. It belongs to the Ottilien Congregation.


The abbey was established as a mission on 3 August 1922, after the Ottilien Congregation received permission to do missionary work in the Apostolic Vicariate of Natal. The mission was headed by apostolic vicar Thomas Spreiter, who had been working in German East Africa since 1900.[2] With the help of the Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing, a high school was built, where Spreiter taught religion.[3] A newly built monastery building was finished in 1949, and a church was consecrated in 1953.[4][5]

On 21 June 1968, the abbey was promoted to the rank of conventual priory,[4] and on 25 February it became an abbey. Since 29 June 1998, the abbey's monks also oversee the former mission house of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the St. Boniface House Waldfrieden, 50 km north-west of Windhoek,[1] where they work with the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing.[6] A training school for Inkamana's young monks was founded in 1992 in Howick, and moved in 1998 to nearby Cedara.[7] Its current abbot is Godfrey Sieber, also the author of a history of the mission.[8]

The abbey's priest is also the custodian of the Ngome Marian Shrine, where between 1955 and 1971 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared ten times to Sister Reinolda May of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters.[9] Sister Reinolda, who died on 1 April 1981, is buried at Inkamana Abbey.[10]

During a 1997 fire in the hospice, three bed-ridden patients died, as did Sr. Ann Thole, who tried to rescue them.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Inkamana". Congregatio Ottiliensis OSB. Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Sieber, Godfrey (2003). "Thomas Spreiter (1865–1944), Bischof in Ostafrika (1906–1920) und Südafrika (1921–1944)". In Godfrey Sieber and Cyrill Schäfer. Beständigkeit und Sendung:Festschrift St. Ottilien 2003. EOS Verlag. pp. 345–50. Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  3. ^ Sieber, Godfrey (1995). The Benedictines of Inkamana. EOS Verlag. p. 240. ISBN 978-3-88096-480-8. 
  4. ^ a b "Inkamana Abbey: Our history". Inkamana Abbey. Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Florin, Adelheidis. "A Pilgrimage to Ngome" (PDF). St. Benedict Priory, Windhoek, Namibia. Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  6. ^ "Monasteries / Africa / Inkamana: St. Boniface House Waldfrieden". Congregatio Ottiliensis OSB. Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  7. ^ "Monasteries / Africa / Inkamana: St. Benedict Study House Cedara". Congregatio Ottiliensis OSB. Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  8. ^ Sieber, Godfrey (1995). The Benedictines of Inkamana. EOS Verlag. ISBN 978-3-88096-480-8. 
  9. ^ Harrison, Philip (2004). South Africa's top sites: spiritual. New Africa Books. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-86486-564-9. 
  10. ^ "Ngome Marian Shrine". Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  11. ^ Jenkins, Chris (25 April 2007). "School holds memorial brave nun". Independent Online (South Africa). Retrieved 16 December 2010. 

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