GENERAL COUNCIL F.I.C. - Prins Bisschopsingel 22, 6211 JX Maastricht, The Netherlands  Phone: *31 (0) 43 3508373
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07.08.2018 12:18:32 140x read.
Opening of the General Chapter 2018, Sunday 5, 2018

Opening of the General Chapter 2018

Sunday 5, 2018


A few days before the General Chapter, most members of the chapter had arrived in Maastricht, the cradle of our Congregation. In Maastricht, the weather has been unusually warm for the past two months. As a result the land is becoming very dry and crops are wilting. Daily temperatures have been as high as 35 degrees Celsius. On Sunday, August 5th, we were ready to leave for Denekamp, where the encounter was to take place. All delegates converged at a popular bus stop called Kommel, which is close to De Beyart, and just behind the Sister of Carrolus Borromeus convent where the bus was to convey us to the venue of the chapter. This was a pleasant moment for the brothers to exchange  greetings in a warm and intimate atmosphere. At exactly 14:00h we departed by bus for Denekamp. After three hours of a smooth and pleasant drive we arrived at “Huize Elisabeth” in Denekamp.


The logistic committee in the persons of Bros. Lo and Guido, and Mr. Willy Bastian who came two days earlier welcomed us in front of the venue of the meeting. After taking some drinks and familiarizing ourselves with the place, we came together for supper at 18:00h and this was followed immediately by the Sunday Eucharistic Celebration in the chapel of this beautiful facility, led by Fr. Bernard Mardiatmdja SJ. This Mass also served as the opening of the Chapter. (The official opening was planned for the following morning).


Before the Eucharistic celebration we sang the congregational song symbolizing our invitation to the founders of our congregation to the chapter. The opportunity was given to the host to deliver the welcome address, and this was done by Bro. Wim Luiten, the coordinator of the Religious House Netherland (RHN). In his welcome address, he gave a brief explanation on the current situation of the RHN regarding life among the ageing brothers and the changes that are affecting the governance of the RHN.  These preliminary rituals ended with the lighting of our usual symbolic candles by the General superior and the leaders of our four provinces and RHN. The Eucharist could then begin.


At 20:00h members came together in the meeting hall for information on some practical matters regarding our stay in "Huize Elisabeth" and this was done by the logistics committee. There was the need to use the translation equipment to enable the brothers from Indonesia derive maximum benefits from the chapter.  Thus assisted by Bro. Ton van Baaren, the communication equipment was tested and found to be in working order.


Before retiring to bed we came together for our usual recreation and the first social evening at 21:00h. This was a time to express our usual fraternal communion and an opportunity to get to know each other before the first business day. Apart from one delegate from Ghana who could make it to the Netherlands due to ill health, all chapter members had arrived and ready for the chapter. 


by: Theodorus Suwariyanto

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