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Priest dedicated to assisting HIV/AIDS patients found dead

A 63 year old British born priest who has worked in South Africa for seven years was found murdered earlier this month, according to sources of the Fides news agency.

"Fr Gerard Fitzsimons was highly esteemed as a priest and a tireless worker to help the poor and the sick, especially those with AIDS", sources in the diocese of De Aar, South Africa, told Fides. Fr Fitzsimons was murdered on Saturday 2 October in Colesberg but the incident was reported only on Wednesday.

The priest was found dead in his home next to the Church of Saint Mary and Saint Joseph. The people were in church waiting for Fr Gerard to say Mass. When he didn't come, the people called the police who broke the front door and found the priest's body on the floor.

Fr Gerard Fitzsimons, aged 63 had worked in South Africa for 7 years and he was especially involved in assisting people with HIV/AIDS.

"Colesberg is in De Aar a vast, scarcely populated diocese with only a small Catholic community" Father Efrem Tresoldi, spokesman of the Southern African Bishops' Conference told Fides

Catholic priest dedicated to assisting HIV/AIDS patients found dead (Fides 13/10/04)

15 Oct 2004