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28.06.2024 14:11:58 269x read.
Farewell Speech of Mr. Willy Bastiaens

Dear Brothers, Colleagues and Friends,

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for the many words of praise addressed to me. All these words of appreciation have made me humble. After all, during 47 years I have always tried in a modest way to support the various councils to the best of my abilities. The interest of the Congregation and its ideals were always foremost in my mind. In all these years I have witnessed important changes from nearby. I am thinking of the shift of influence from the northern to the southern hemisphere, which also translated into an internationalization of the General Council.


I would like to share with you some thoughts about my acquaintance and further experi- ences within the Congregation.
When I arrived at De Beyart for the first time on my moped on 1st August, 1977, I got lost in that large and, at that time, strange building for me. Fortunately, Bro. Patricio Winters of blessed memory showed me the way, not only on that first working day, but during the many years that we together formed the secretariat of the General Council. I am very grateful to him and to the Congregation as a whole for the formation I received. As a result, FIC has increasingly become a part of my life and I feel strongly connected to the Congregation. I am grateful to the Lord that I was able to meet and work with these inspired people. During the 47 years that I was privileged to work with and for FIC, I built relationships with many brothers. I am very grateful to all of you who are alive and to all those who have left us.

My gratitude also goes to the many councils I have had the privilege of supporting for the trust placed in me. Without that trust, it would have been difficult - if not impossible - to function properly. And, of course, the support of my wife and daughter has also been very important.

During all these years I have enjoyed my work, which is mainly due to the good cooper- ation with council members, colleagues and many others. I am also grateful for having had the opportunity to attend many congregational meetings in all FIC areas, including 7 General Chapters. These benefited both my work and me as a person because they were inspiring and enriching. Getting to know different countries and cultures has been a great help to me in my supporting role for the various councils.

And now after 47 years, I am saying goodbye, which evokes mixed feelings in me. Although I will spend less time in FIC circles, the Congregation remains in my heart. So my heartfelt prayer is that the exemplary inspiration and commitment of FIC Brothers will continue in all FIC areas and that many poor people may benefit from your care.

May God bless the FIC Congregation and may all of you continue to be good and to do good. Farewell, adieu!

Willy Bastiaens

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