I wonder how many “Windhoekers” would know where this chapel is? Our St Paul’s College chapel was called Church of the Holy Ghost, and the fresco on the wall behind the altar depicts the descent of the Holy Spirit. It was built in 1957 as a semi parish church for the mostly German speaking Catholic community of that time. The architect Mr Flemming also painted the frescos. Fr Willibald Ballmeier was the first parish priest (while also being the St Paul’s hostel master and the leader of the Catholic scouts – the fleur-de-lis emblem in the marble floor is a reminder of the St George scouts). Regular Sunday masses, baptisms and weddings were held here. In 1977 after the departure of the parish priest, Fr Windelschmidt, there was no regular priest appointed to the chapel so Br. Herminigildus, the principal of St Paul’s College was then allowed to use it as a school chapel.
Our chapel today plays an important role in the spiritual and moral development of our students. We hold chapel services once a week for the primary school and twice weekly for the high school. Pastors and speakers from different denominations are invited to speak to our students. Regular prayer sessions and Holy Masses are held. Together with the chapel services, Religious Education classes help the students learn more about their college patron and about world religions and works towards developing the whole child. During the great flood that affected many schools and students in the northern part of Namibia in 2011, our students supported the efforts of the Red Cross Society of Namibia through collections of food and clothing.
Two groups of parents have formed a “School’s Prayer Network” and meet weekly in the primary and high school to pray for the direction of the school, staff and leadership, and most importantly, for the children. Specific prayer requests from staff are sent through every week.
Past Scholars still use the chapel for weddings and baptisms, and the developing indigenous garden, designed by Christine and Anna Marais, provides a lush setting for this. We encourage you to contact the school if you are a present or past member of the St Paul’s community and would like to use our chapel for a family event.
Fr Davis Vadakkumpadan