(From left to right)
Rear: Peter Denneman, Ghislain Kasereka, Anand Valle, Marco Pasinato, Aimé Kamanda and Rayappa Joseph
Front: Charles Leta, Nepo Ray, Jesu Manickam Rayappan, Ravi Thappeta, Gerd-Willi Bergers, Stefan Musanai and Francis Antony
MARIENHEIDE, Germany - From April 4 to 6, 2022, after being postponed several times due to Covid-19 measures, a follow-up meeting of the young missionaries from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands (BDNL) finally took place. This time in the monastery in Marienheide, Germany. Present were: Aimé, Nepo and Ghislain from Belgium, Jesu Manickam, Francis, Anand, Rayappa and Ravi from Germany and Stefan and Charles from the Netherlands. Fr. Peter DENNEMAN, SMM (sup. NL) and Fr. Gerd-Willi BERGERS, SMM (sup. D) were present as facilitators, as well as Fr. Marco PASINATO, SMM of the General Council from Rome.
On Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, the group was inspired in particular by Hymn 9 'The charms of gentleness', Hymn 26 'The handcraft of gratitude' and Hymn 148 'God hidden in my neighbour'. The session began with an introduction of ten Hymns and then each confrere was allowed to state what inspired him in a specific Hymn, why that was and whether it is possible to transform Montfort's message to the here and now.
Tuesday afternoon was devoted to a portion of the course "Empowerment of Young SMM Priests" by psychiatrist Mrs. Monica Applewhite (USA) and a program to prevent abuse and protect the vulnerable. Attention was given to sexual abuse, including that within our Church and our Catholic institutions, what the consequences are for the victims and how to take action yourself to avoid falling into the trap of abuse of power, spiritual abuse and sexual abuse.
At the end of the afternoon, there was room to reflect with Fr. Marco.
On Wednesday, after the morning celebration and after breakfast, everyone returned home. Fr. Marco travelled to Vroenhof (Netherlands), where a multi-day visitation with the Dutch entity was scheduled.
When organizing the next SMM Missionaries meeting, preferably on a larger scale, we will try to involve several young confrères from the various countries in Europe.
Participants revealed, among other things:
- to be satisfied with the content, which was well prepared and animated;
- to have been deeply touched by fellow confreres, especially with regard to their reflection on spirituality;
- to see Montfort spirituality again as an essential need with regard to personal growth and for pastoral work;
- to let your heart be touched by the Hymns and to be challenged to bring the inspiration of Montfort to people in the present.
April 6, 2022