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24.08.2017 16:33:17 1443x read.
Opening Address, OASIS 2017. OASIS: An Invitation to Intimacy.

Opening Address - OASIS  2017

OASIS :  An invitation to Intimacy 

“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11, 28)


Dear Sister and Brothers,

First of all I wish to welcome you all to the opening of the congregational movement which we call OASIS encounter. Special welcome goes to the participants of this gathering coming from different places in the world: from Ghana (Fabian Kuupile, Hans van Wouwen, Severius, Isidore, Felicio, and Irenius), from Indonesia (Ludgerus Haryono, Albertus Slamet, Yustinus Adriyanto, Stephanus Ngadenan, Titus Totok, Lorentius Edy Wahyudi, William Widodo, and Gregorius Suhadi), from Malawi (supposed to be Pascal Mtuwana and Stanslao Finye), and  from The Netherlands (Wim Brands and Ton van Baaren). This time Chile, due to the very limited number of brothers,  is not able to send any participant, since most of them have ever participated in this kind of program.

We understand that OASIS encounter is just a stage of the whole spiritual exercise called “FIC Journey to Spiritual Enrichment”, which consists of several stages. There are stages before and after the OASIS stage. The whole  spiritual journey, including the OASIS stage,  is in fact a way and means for our continuing formation. Our Constitutions art. 115 reads “Not only during our formative years, but throughout our lives we should be open to development, formation, and deepening the meaning of our lives. As persons and as community we should seek this in various ways” 

I personally belief that our life as religious is a life long spiritual journey. We become a religious and are able to be faithful with our commitment because of having strong faith and spiritual motivations. Unless we continue to nurture our spiritual life we will not be happy as religious.


Intention of OASIS

The term OASIS in geography is referring to an isolated area of vegetation in a desert, typically surrounding a spring or a water source. The existence of OASIS  has been of critical importance for travelers taking route in the desert, to be a place to rest, to refresh, to relax and to regain energy. Those traveling along the desert always long for an OASIS to refresh themselves.

The OASIS encounter we are starting today has a similar function as the OASIS in the desert. You, the participants of this OASIS program, have been travelling along the way, since you entered into the Congregation. You have been living and working tirelessly for the sake of the Kingdom. You must have been tired, even some of you may have been extremely tired. Therefore during this four weeks’ encounter I hope that you as participants are able to experience what I call 5 R’s: Rest, Refresh, Rediscover and finally Renew or Regain energy of life. Jesus says to all of us :”Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”

How to embark on a spiritual journey?

What are we looking for as a religious, as brothers FIC?  Our Constitutions say the following: “Just like everyone else we ask for the deepest and most perfect happiness” (Const. art 1).  To answer this question, I will give you a story of a young man who wants to find a perfect happiness. This young man went to a spiritual master asking the way to find a perfect happiness. This is what the master advice him: “Take time to stop today, look back now on yesterday and all you have achieved; recognize the strength you have gained and the blessing you have received”. Moreover “dare to believe that you are a wonderful, unique person;  that it is more than a right, it is your duty to be who you are; that life is not a problem to solve, but a gift to cherish” I do hope in this OASIS encounter you will deal with what the spiritual master said to the young man. 

Throughout the four weeks of this OASIS ENCOUNTER the journey participants will be accompanied by several facilitators. We thank all facilitators and working committee (Guido, Johan, Claudia, Theo) for the hard working from the preparation until the execution of the program. The whole program of these four weeks’ encounter in my view can be summarized as an invitation to intimacy: intimacy with oneself, with the Congregation and our Founders, with God who calls us, and the people around us.

I believe that all of you (participants) are keen on making this program as fruitful as possible.  Therefore active participation and maintaining a supportive and conducive atmosphere throughout the program is surely necessary to achieve the maximum benefit of the program.


Dear sister and brothers, I consider this event of OASIS Encounter as a congregational movement of our Congregation which is supposed to bear abundant fruit for the persons involved and for the whole Congregation. This encounter is a way of continuing our religious formation. Our vocation requires us to continue developing our spiritual growth. Through the formal and informal interactions we wish to receive and give mutual support, inspiration and encouragement. I believe that this encounter will be a way to help us become more and more intimate with oneself, with the Congregation, with God, and with fellow people.  And next to this  we hope that we become more aware of our call to grow towards Jesus and to make the best we can of our lives (Const. art. 1 and 4).

Let us make this congregational event a life-deepening encounter and entrust it under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the loving protection of our Immaculate Mother. While we are here let us also remember our fellow brothers back home,  those who are sick and those  already departed, to feel them as part of our extended body. 

I wish you all success with this encounter,


Bro. Martin Handoko

General Superior

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