LEUVEN, Belgium - On September 8, 2022, we celebrated the 70 years of religious life of Father Jozef BRAKEN, SMM in Genk. The confreres of Leuven and D'Hoppe first met in the Eucharist presided over by the superior of the delegation, Father Jos VAN DEN BERGH, SMM.
Given the age of our confrere (91), the Eucharistic celebration was brief. It was the feast of the Nativity of Mary. From her appearance on earth, Mary occupied a privileged place in the plan of God. The superior then compared the birth of Mary with the birth of Father Jozef in religious life. The first vows as the beginning of a special relationship with God. He then described some of the qualities of Father Jozef: his welcoming spirit, his optimism, his kindness, and cordiality. Like the elderly who accept their old age, Father Jozef is a man full of gratitude. He thanks God for each day that comes and is full of gratitude for those who help him live with his aging body.
After the Eucharistic celebration, we gathered for an aperitif by discussing the great works that Father Jozef has carried out in Congo-Kinshasa and in Europe, particularly in Belgium in Banneux and Genk. Then, we had the opportunity to get to know the art of the Lindsy cook. The sound of the aperitif changed to a whisper during dinner.
The celebration was also an opportunity to meet again without forgetting those who no longer have the possibility of traveling.
Fr. Jan Tachelet, SMM