Heinrich Sommer (clergyman)

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Heinrich Sommer (born January 3, 1872 in Ahlen , Westphalia, † April 18, 1918 in Karlsruhe ) was a German Roman Catholic clergyman and a pioneer in the work of the disabled.

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Heinrich Sommer was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Paderborn on February 5, 1899 . At the Katholikentag in 1903 he was encouraged to do something for the “care of the cripple” in his homeland in the Sauerland. A motion in the Caritas committee to consider the establishment of institutions for "crippled" children had given him the impetus to realize his long-cherished plans. His goal was the "healing, care and commercial training of crippled people". He acquired a plot of land in Bigge / Brilon district (today Olsberg / Hochsauerlandkreis ) and founded the Josefs-Gesellschaft and the Josefsheim Bigge on August 15, 1904 . The association and facility still exist today.

Heinrich Sommer won Conrad Freiherr von Wendt at Schellenstein Castle near Bigge, the then “most social aristocrat in Westphalia”, and his wife Gertrud Agnes née von Galen, a sister of the “Lion of Münster” Clemens August Graf von Galen , for his plans and shaped them Josefs-Gesellschaft as rector from 1904 to 1912.

Through his brother, who was a printer, he got the items he needed to open a printing shop in Josefsheim. The workshop began its work with initially seven disabled employees. It was particularly important to Pastor Sommer to have the disabled adequately cared for and to provide for their professional education.

Soon after the Josefsheim, further facilities for the sick and handicapped came under the roof of the Josefs-Gesellschaft . During his lifetime, the Vinzenz Home in Aachen- Siegel started work in 1905 and the Elisabeth Clinic in Bigge in 1908.

After 1912 Heinrich Sommer worked as a pastor in the Antoniushaus subsidiary in Hochheim. Like some of his successors, he was buried in the house management in the church of the founding institution in the Josefsheim Bigge.


The Heinrich-Haus in Neuwied - Engers , founded in 1928, and the street in Olsberg where Josefsheim and Elisabeth-Klinik are located are named after Heinrich Sommer . The vocational college in Josefsheim and the rehabilitation clinic in the Bad Wildbad vocational support organization also bear his name. In addition, a street in his birthplace Ahlen is named after him.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Josefsheim story