KOLPING SOCIETY, ITS ORIGIN AND ACTIVITIES � IN A NUTSHELL
Kolping Society is an international Catholic Organisation which was founded by a German Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Adolph Kolping who was born on December 8 th 1813 in Kerpan near Colonge in Germany . After his primary education at 13, he learned the shoe-maker's craft. He worked in this occupation upto his twenty-third year. He went round cities and towns for his work with his fellow workers and he became familiar with the Social misery of the people who had come into the cities from rural areas in order to get work. Many young people lost contact with their own families, with their villages and thus with the Church too. He decided to become a priest to eradicate the immorality, poverty-stricken condition and anti-Catholic attitude from the young workers around him. Beginning in the year 1837, he attended a secondary school in Colonge and completed his diploma after 4 years. Following his studies in theology and philosophy in Munich and Bonn he was ordained in the Minorite Church in Colonge in April 13 th 1845.
Being a young priest Adolph Kolping founded the Kolping Society of Apprentices on May 6 th 1849. He called upon the young workers to reflect a new on the values of religion, of diligence in their work, of the importance of a good family and the value of an ordered state. Adolph Kolping wanted to help the workers through forming and educating men on the basis of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Catholic Social teachings. We can sum up his programme in the few words: �Social change through changing men�. It was the first Catholic workers organization of the world to make them disciplined workers.
During his life-time, this organization spread in many countries. Now it is working in 60 countries including India . The Beatification of Adolph Kolping by Pope John II was gloriously done in Rome in the year 1991 October 27 and now Adolph Kolping is blessed. Adolph Kolping for the numerous beneficiaries all over the world.
In India Coimbatore is the center of Kolping activities where the National office is functioning. Fr. Victor Santiyago of Coimbatore Diocese is the National Director. The Kolping society is spread in 31 dioceses in 4 States including our Quilon Diocese of Kerala. Each diocesan Kolping society is led by concerned Bishop of the Diocese and a priest-director is put in charge of the activities in the diocese. In our diocese Fr. Thomson Egeriose is the director. There is a diocesan Board in each diocese under the diocesan director which includes a layman president, a secretary, a national board member and a Diocesan Board member and a co-ordinator. All activities are directed by the diocesan board and/executed by the co-ordinator.