Fr. Anton Pott, SVD

Fr. Anton Pott, SVD was born on September 2, 1903 in Ibbenbüren-Dorenthe, as the third of seven children of Clemens Pott and Josephina. After elementary school, he worked in agriculture at home for one year. From Stadt Gottes, a mission magazine, he repeatedly read some news from the mission fields, thus he decided to become a missionary.

In his memoir Father Pott wrote: "67 years ago, in 1919, after 40 hours of prayer, Kaplan Meier Theodor Welling gave me a letter  which stated that from Easter of 1919 I was accepted as a student in Steyl. I was filled with great joy. I had to admit that after receiving the letter, there was no one happier than myself, because I have been accepted for full missionary service.”

After high school studies in Steyl, he went for novitiate and studied philosophy in St. Augustine (1926-1929). In 1929-1934 he went to the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome to study theology. During this time, in 1932 he received priestly ordination. This was followed later by his departure to the mission in China. After language studies, he worked as a missionary at various stations in southern Honan from 1936-1942. During Japanese War of 1942-1945, he was taken into an internment camp in East Honan by the National Chinese. After the war he was made vicar general which took office from 1947 to 1951. In March 1951 he was appointed bishop by Pope Pius XII. But because of the communist takeover in China, it did not come to the Episcopal ordination. Fr. Pott was rather thrown into jail by the Communists and taken twice before the People's Court. This was followed by the expulsion from China. In 1951 Fr. Pott returned to Europe, and few years later he traveled back for the mission, this time to Taiwan, where in the highlands of the Diocese of Chiay he worked as a missionary for another 23 years.

For old age and health reasons, he returned in late January 1986 to Europe, and staid in St. Arnold retirement house. Here, initially he recovered quite good and was close to the life of the community. On Monday, April 7, 1986 he was diagnosed with thrombosis added up with pneumonia, and was hospitalized the next day. On Friday, April 11, 1986 Fr. Pott died in hospital in Neuenkirchen, Kr. Steinfurt, at the age of 82. He was buried on Tuesday, April 15, 1986, after a funeral mass at the chapel of St. Arnold Mission House.

(Written by Fr Rector of St. Arnold Mission House, Fr. Bruno Frey, SVD on April 11, 1986. Translated from German to English by; Tarsis Sigho, SVD)