GENERAL COUNCIL F.I.C. - Prins Bisschopsingel 22, 6211 JX Maastricht, The Netherlands  Phone: *31 (0) 43 3508373
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29.08.2017 20:58:34 1486x read.
A Report of the OASIS, on Monday 28, August 2017.




The second week of the oasis encounter started on a bright sunny day today. Participants started the day as usual with a Morning Prayer service in the chapel led by Bro. Johan, one of the facilitators. The prayer focused on our founder, Mgr Louis Rutten. The readings from our constitutions and the songs were carefully chosen to inspire participants to be in union with our founders in their mission of continuing the work of Jesus.

After the inspiring prayer service the Congregational Pilgrimage booklets were distributed to participants. In his brief explanation Bro. Johan said in the past it was called “Historical Walk” but now we prefer to call it “Congregational Pilgrimage.” He said a historical walk was just to trace the history of the congregation but a pilgrimage is more a spiritual reflection on the work of the founders and the spirit that motivated them. This hopefully will inspire us as people following their footsteps to feel united with them to continue their good work as we go through the original ground they started.

The pilgrimage took us first to the original family house of Louis Rutten, no 3 in Jodenstraat. This time round we were fortunate to be given the chance to enter that very room Mgr. Rutten was born in 1809. The feeling of gratefulness to have the opportunity to stand in this special room in our congregational history was running through each of us.

Our second stop was at St. Matthias church, the parish church of the family of Mgr Louis Rutten. It was in this historical church that he was baptised in 1809 and also had his first mass after his ordination in 1837. We felt being part of that celebration and we could even imagine him at the altar in the presence of his parents. The window dedicated to Louis Rutten in 1960 for his dedicated service with the inscriptions were all life-stories for us as the group gathered there for a photograph.

From there participants were tired so we made a brief stop at De Gouverneur Restaurant for a cup of coffee, tea or a soft drink. Here it was not just the drink but an opportunity to internalise what we had gone through so far with our founders. This was clear from the way brothers shared passionately with one another their surprises, feelings and experiences about the places visited so far.

After that we continued and made our final stop of the day at St. Servaas Basilica. This was the place he was offered a small porch of the church to start his first instruction with the first few children.  Participants had the opportunity to see this special room and also the second and larger room he got from the same church when the number of children went up to two hundred and could no longer use the small porch. Here in this beautiful church of the tenth century, with its beautiful decorations and special monuments, we all felt very close to Mgr. Louis Rutten. Needless to say, participants were highly encouraged and motivated by this personal experience and are resolved to be closer to Louis Rutten by rededicating ourselves.

After lunch each participant was given a personal letter written to him by the Late Mgr. Louis Rutten to read and give a reply. Some of the participants went to the chapel to do this while others chose some quiet corners within the house. It was indeed a solemn mood to listen keenly to Louis Rutten. Participants returned with their replies and were again divided into three groups to have a contemplative faith listening and sharing with their replies. Here we each had a deep personal encounter with our founders and an opportunity to recall the personal invitation by him to continue this project. It was indeed a great and memorable day for all participants.  

Bro. Aabeisie Isidore Nelson.



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