18 Mar In Memoriam: Br. Boniface Kruger (1929 – 2019)
Boniface was born Hans Kruger on 1st May 1929 in Berlin, Germany. His father was a Lutheran and he mother was Jewish. Hans only came to know that his mother was a Jew on Kristallnacht when the Nazis attacked Jewish businesses. He and his brother Karl were sent on the Kinder Transport to Great Britain where Scottish families fostered them. When Karl was 16, he was sent to Canada as “an enemy alien.” Hans became a Catholic in 1945 and with no communication between them; Karl became a Catholic in Canada. Hans entered the novitiate in 1947 and Karl joined the Archdiocese of Edinburgh where was eventually ordained. Hans was given the name Boniface and he was professed in 1948 and ordained in 1955.
After Ordination, Boniface studied Philosophy at the Antonianum and stayed on in Rome working for a few years in the General Curia. He returned to England and taught Philosophy at the Province’s House of Studies in East Bergholt for 12 years. He worked for a period as Provincial librarian building up a fine collection of philosophical and theological material that is now in Franciscan libraries in Lusaka and Harare. He worked in parishes in Bristol, Edinburgh and Ipswich before going to the General Curia to work in the Protocol office. This work suited him because he confessed to “having a passion for order, organisation and efficiency.” At this time, he was involved also in International meetings of the Order as a simultaneous interpreter that included spontaneous news bulletins as well.
He continued this type of work as Secretary of the Province. He said of his ministry in the Order, “I always do chores.” He did them very well with great care as a good and faithful steward. He died on 4th March 2019 having received Viaticum only two hours before when he was able to answer the prayers and consume the host. May he rest in peace.