GENERAL COUNCIL F.I.C. - Prins Bisschopsingel 22, 6211 JX Maastricht, The Netherlands  Phone: *31 (0) 43 3508373
Monday, June 17 2024  - 1 User Online  

17.03.2022 18:28:37 4957x read.
In Deo bro. Gerard Hermans, FIC by bro. Wim Swuste, FIC.

In Deo
Gerard Hermans
Johannes Andreas Gerardus
By Wim Swüste
Gerard was born on 17 June 1931 in Maastricht.
He made his Vows to the FIC on 15 August
1951. On 12 December 2021 he died at
the MUMC+ hospital in Maastricht.
The words from the Gospel today tell us that a
concerned mother fell on her knees to ask the
Man from Nazareth for a first-rate place for two
of her ten sons. Jesus does not get angry, he
doesn’t mock her. But he firmly explains such a
request is not in order. “Dear lady, that is not for
me to decide, that is in the hands of my Father
in heaven.”
He also says “Don’t try to be a boss, try to be of
service. That way you’ll be precious in My eyes.”
From the lecture out of Proverbs we get the
same idea:
“Keep my commands in your heart, for they
will prolong your life many years, and bring you
peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness
never leave you; bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you
will win favour and a good name in the sight of
God and man.”
It seems as if King Solomon, writing these
words, had Gerard’s life in mind: a life in goodness,
faith, loyalty and service. In these dese of
unrest, ignorance, and guessing at solutions,
such people are very rare. That makes us especially
sad on this day, because we have to let go
of this man, a man with such gifts, our relative,
friend, fellow Brother.
We can find some comfort in Gerard’s own
words, words he spoke recently at his jubilee,
when we commemorated his 70 years as a Brother:
“I’ve had a good life. And I am grateful for
all those I have met in my life.”
Among his papers, we found a hand-written biography.
“In our family we were five children: my
four sisters and myself. I was born in Maastricht,
my father had a shoe repair shop. The Aloysius
school was where I went to school.” In 1943,
Gerard told his parents he wanted to become a
Brother. He writes: “My parents weren’t exactly
pleased; my father had hoped I would succeed
him in the shop They felt regret to let me go to
the monastery, but once I was there they were
soon quite proud of me.”
Gerard had been born with many talents. And
he used them all to help others. He was a valued
teacher at the Jeanne d’Arc secondary school
in Maastricht, was superior in various communities,
and for twelve years he was part of the
General Council. During his stay in Malawi he
was twice appointed Provincial Superior.
After his return to the Netherlands, he joined
the Capucijnengang community in Maastricht.
He became a welcome volunteer in the Rooden
Leeuw project, having a delicate sense of how
to deal with people who needed attention and
deserved respect. Gerard radiated peace and
wisdom. So it was completely logical for him to
become an official confidant at the Care Home
De Beyart. He was very modest about that kind
of appointment. Modesty and wisdom were his
strongest assets.
Recently I asked him what had been the most
difficult moment in his life. “That was the attack
on my life in 1998 in Malawi. I came home that
night to find the door open, and in the next moment
they were shooting at me. I was hit in my
stomach, in my arm, in my bottom.
An armed robbery it was, five men who had
thought there would be lots of money in my
house. My heart almost stopped, you don’t
know if you’ll survive such an attack. I could
have died. Helpful people put me on a lorry and
sent me to the hospital. Fortunately I’ve recovered
completely.” And if I hadn’t asked, he’d never
have told me, he wasn’t one to tell tall tales.
He kept his simplicity, also where his talent for
singing was concerned. “At the Aloysius school,
I was popular for singing at parents’ evenings.
I’d be a soloist, with Bro. Diëgo conducting. And
in school plays I’d be given the prime role because
of my voice.”
For years, Gerard himself conducted the Beyart
choir, which provides music for the prayer services.
Even last week, he did this, with Corrie
Dam playing the organ. As a conductor he was
talented, and he was always patient and mild towards
the choir members.
In our community at Capucijnengang, he was a
quiet leader. He was always ready to help with
the shopping, and enjoyed eating what was put
before him. In community meetings he’d make
balanced contributions, evidence of his wide
experience in life and his deep faith. He was
always willing to listen, and interested in what
people said. And we’d gladly ignore the loudness
of the sound in football and tennis matches
on TV when he was watching.
He was a faithful participant in all prayer services,
and every morning we’d find him in our
prayer room in the attics of our ‘In de Rooden
Leeuw’ house. That was one of the supports of
his life, this faithfully communing with the Eternal.
After twelve years on the General Council, he
took a course of religious formation in 1988-89
at St. Anselm’s College in Cliftonville, England.
He wanted to ‘recharge the battery’ of his religious
life. And he did the same with his daily
meditations and prayers. “in praying, I find it
is important to do that in a very quiet, almost
meditative way. I’m glad there is growth in my
prayer life. I often feel a need to commune with
the Eternal, quietly, often without words.“
Now, Gerard may rejoice in a wordless eternal
peace near the One he searched for all his life.
He may now experience that his faith and goodness
will never leave him again, because he was
a good man in the eyes of God and of his fellow
human beings.
May we keep Gerard in our hearts, after his blessed
life, in affection and gratitude. I feel that he
deserves that very much.
Dear relative, great fellow Brother, precious
friend, Fare well!


^:^ : IP : 2 ms   
 © 2024