Am Donnerstag, 2. Januar 2020, verstarb Pater Leonhard Ndabenhle Mncwabe CMM in Mariannhill, Südafrika. Pater Leonhard erblickte am 15. März 1975 in KwaMnyamana, Südafrika, das Licht der Welt. Am 2. Februar 1997 legte er seine Erste Profess ab und wurde am 16. Juni 2003 zum Priester geweiht. Zu letzt war er im südafrikanischen Vikariat Ingwavuma als Seelsorger tätig. Möge er die Herrlichkeit Gottes nun unverhüllt schauen dürfen.

Provinzial Pater Bhekinkosi Shabalala übermittelte nun folgenden Nachruf auf Pater Leonhard: 


“The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end. I will keep forever my promise of peace, so says the Lord who loves you”. Isaiah 54:10

Fr. Leonard Ndabenhle Mncwabe CMM, was born on the 15th March in 1975 at KwaMnyamana, an Outstation of Kevelaer Mission. He was a son of Mr. Innocent Mncwabe and Lizer MaNdlovu Mncwabe. His father passed away 7 years ago. Fr. Leonard was the fourth born child in the family of 8 children i.e. 7 boys and one girl. He did his primary schooling at Mnyamana primary from 1982-1988 and secondary school at Ndabakazibuzwa secondary school from 1990-1994 respectively.

As a young man, his desire and interest to become a priest was inspired by his parish priest Fr. Urban Dietrich. As such, upon completing his secondary schooling, in 1995, he joined the CMM Postulancy in Mariathal under the guidance of Fr. Vincent Mdabe CMM who had recommended him for to do novitiate here in Mariannhill Monastery the following year. His Lordship Bishop Emeritus Paul Mandla Khumalo (provincial superior then) and his councilors admitted Fr. Mncwabe to canonical novitiate which began on 1st February 1996 until February the following year. While in the Novitiate Fr. Mncwabe’s Novice Director (Fr. Peter Grand CMM) described him as a ‘maturing young man who takes his religious life very serious and lives it in a humble and obliging way without much fuss and noise.’

After his first profession in 1997, Fr. Leonard went to St Joseph’s Theological Institute where he studied philosophy and theology. Going through his academic records and transcripts, it is clear that Fr. Leonard had a good grasp and understanding of the subjects involved in these disciplines. With the help of his Formators (Bishop Siegfried Mandla Jwara CMM, Fr. Mdabe CMM and Fr. Daniel Perreault CMM), Fr. Leonard displayed a tremendous growth in prayer life and experience of community life particularly in multicultural congregation like ours. After a successful finish of his studies and sufficient exposure to pastoral experiences, he was ordained priest on  the 16th  June 2003 at Kevealer Mission. As a priest,

Fr. Leonard Mcwabe worked in various dioceses such as Diocese of Mariannhill (Mariathal mission), Archdiocese of Durban (Ekukhanyeni parish and St. John Maria Vianney, Elandskop), Diocese of Uzimkulu (Margate parish and St. Martin de Porres, Gamalakhe) and the Vicariate of Ingwavuma (Manguzi) at Immaculate Conception since 2018 until his date of death.

Throughout his priestly life, he showed leadership skills and great ability to work well with parishioners entrusted to his care. As such he has served as

  • KZN Regional Co-ordinator of the Inculturation Committee following the appointment of Fr. Vincent Mdabe as Provincial Superior,
  • Dean of Pietermaritzburg Vulindlela in the Archdiocese of Durban,
  • Diocesan Spiritual Advisor of the Sacred Heart (Ngwavuma),
  • Tour Guide for Pilgrims to the Holy Land,
  • Dean at Ingwavuma Vicariate,
  • Vicar General for Umzimkulu Diocese and
  • Superior of Mariannhill Monastery.

He was always more than willing to take up different assignments and tasks in the Congregation without much resistance. He has left us a legacy of hard labour, in the spirit of Abbot Francis Pfanner. His humility was something to emulate. He had great skills to unite people and his consultative skills remain a very good example for all of us to learn from. He was indeed a dignified man who did not use many words.

Those left to cherish his memories include his mother, family and relatives, religious brothers and sisters, priests and confreres; parishioners from Margate and Gamalakhe parishes, Mariathal, Elandskop parish, Manguzi parish and his present home parish of St. Joachim’s Msinsini.. We thank God for the life of Fr. Leonard Mncwabe.

On Thursday the 2nd January 2020 he succumbed to the battle against cancer of the liver at Hilton hospital in Pietermaritzburg at the age of 45 after a long illness. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Compiled at Mariannhill Monastery by Fr. Lufeyo Mpaha CMM, 04 January 2020