The 77 years old Fr. Brunner was born in Germany on the 24th of August 1939. From an early age he had expressed his desire to become a servant of the Lord in his vineyard. After basic schooling, he acquired a qualification as an electrician at the same time, he joined the Pallottines. Seven years later in 1965 November, Fr Brunner made his perpetual vows as a Pallottine.
In 1968, he was sent to Spain where he worked as an Electrician in one of the Pallottine Colleges. Ten years later, 1975, he practised his promise of obedience as he agreed to be sent to our Mission in South Africa. On his arrival, Fr Brunner worked towards the success of our work here in South Africa and worked with Bishop Manfred in the Diocese of Oudtshroon. During the time, South Africa was deep-seated with a gruesome era of apartheid regime, the regime Fr Brunner fought against.
An opportunity to further serve the Church availed itself to Fr Brunner in 1979, he went to Cedara – KwaZulu Natal for his priesthood studies.
On the 20th of January 1983, the Bishop Johannes SAC, then local ordinary of Oudtshroon Diocese ordained Fr Brunner to the diaconate ministry. On the 16 of December of the same year, he became the first person to be ordained a priest by the newly consecrated Bishop Edward Adams in Oudtshroon. Soon after he celebrated his first Mass at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Rosemoor. Bp Adams appointed Fr Brunner to be Priest in Charge of Beaufort West Parish. He worked in Beaufort West until taking a Sabbatical year in 2000 at St Anselm – England.
When he returned, he was assigned to Merrivale near Howick in the Metropolitan Diocese of Durban and later assigned to Pallotti Farm in the Diocese of Queenstown, it is here that he worked until returning to Germany, a frail but determined Pallottine, he worked at Vincent Pallotti College.
Fr Brunner served the Church as the religious for 56 years and priest for 33 years. And South Africa had been his home for a very long time, even when he left for Germany, the African remained dear and close to his heart.
We will always remember and appreciate him and his contribution to our South African apostolate.
He will be laid to rest on the 03rd of March 2017 in Germany.
May his soul Rest in God’s Peace.