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31.08.2017 16:18:38 1295x read.
Daily Report OASIS Encounter, August 29,2017.



MONDAY, AUGUST 29, 2017.

The second day of the second week of the Oasis 2017 greeted the participants with a smiling sun and a beautiful weather as usual. The participants led by Br. Frans School, FIC committed their day’s programme in to the hands of the Lord through a prayer service under the theme: “Love for His Brothers,” taken from Heocken’s “Rules of Conduct for Superiors”. The day was set aside for participants to reflect on the life, mission and vocation of Brother Bernardus Hoecken our co-founder as part of the Congregational Journey. 


The first part of the journey was a visit to the Red Lion Community on the Bogaardenstraat (Bogaarden Street). The journey participants made a solemn walk to the cradle of the school that gave birth to our Congregation. The brothers living in the Red Lion Community warmly welcomed the participants to the house. In a briefing on the struggles Br. Bernardus and his team went through at the very beginning of the congregation, the participants were humbled and felt more connected to the reality of the history of our congregation as documented for posterity to read.

Due to the historical significance of the Red Lion Community in the life of the congregation, one would expect it to be an exclusive FIC community; however, the house is now a centre for helping people with problems of loneliness, mental illness, and linking clients they cannot help to donor agencies or other institutions for support. It explained that clients go there to find company, consolation, encouragement and support. This keeps the community in line with the founder’s concern for the aged and people who experience little love. In this way, the community is opened to non-FIC members who form the staff of the centre. The uniqueness of the Red Lion is in its association to Rutten, its location in the heart of the city of Maastricht, its social standing with the city council and the fact that the brothers there are still on course with the concern of the founders in such a secularized community. The participants were very impressed about the apostolate of the brothers; and in this mood, a prayer service was conducted in honour of Br. Bernardus.

In furtherance of the journey, the participants went to Capucijnengang where they saw the massive buildings of the noviciate, the chapel, St. Joseph school, and the teachers training college. The participants were not so impressed that the holy structures have been turned into students’ hostels. In a reflective mood, the participants went back to Onder de Bogen (centre for the Oasis) for lunch and a nap. 

The participants reconvened in the Oasis seminar hall at 3pm to receive letters individually from Br. Bernardus Hoecken outlining what he stood for in his life time as a brother, what kept him going with his ideals how he shaped the life of the brothers. Bernardus wanted to know in the reply to his letter how each participant in his own way is continuing with the mission he (Bernadus) has entrusted to him, his faithfulness to community life or love of the brothers and how each is building his spiritual life. The sharing indicated that members found the questions very challenging and as such, a wakeup call to their commitment to the core of their religious vocation to the FIC. Each participant expressed a desire to model his vocation after Br. Bernadus. Thanks for your time.

By Br. Irenius Nimbare, FIC.

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