ROME - Fr. Jos Van den Bergh, SMM, Superior of the Belgian Delegation, was interviewed at the General House about the arrival of a new missionary in Belgium. Here are his answers:
After the ordination of Father Ghislain, you asked the Congregation for another missionary for Belgium. What motivates this request?
We hope that there will be a third young missionary in our delegation so that together with the other two, they can form a group of three young confreres who will be in contact with the other young missionaries in the Netherlands, Germany, and France...
Why did you decide that the new missionary is a deacon?
We received the question from the Generalate if we would agree to receive another missionary candidate from Congo who is a deacon to give him time to integrate into our country. In this manner, he has still time to learn the Flemish language sufficiently in order to be ordained as a priest here in Leuven, following the same procedures as we did with Fr. Ghislain. We talked about it in our council. And I can say that after the experience that we have been able to live and the enthusiasm that we have seen and felt here and there, our answer is almost obvious. I tried to give you the motivations for our 'yes' response and that the ordination of Fr. Ghislain was a testimony for the environment as we had planned in advance. The contacts with the Diocese of Malines-Brussels have improved, or we may say that these relations exist again now, as they have existed before with the previous bishops and cardinals.
Preparing an ordination in reality like yours is a remarkable investment of strength. How do you manage it?
With this 'yes', we follow the inspired movement of our current Montfortian administration to find a way to revive Montfortian presence in the entities of Northern Europe, a movement that we want to support.
We can even bear the costs of this ordination: € 4800 and € 3100 of donations, it costs us € 1700. To that, we must add € 3000 to make it possible for the candidate to come to us to shoulder his travel expenses including his visa and the cost of language school.
What will be the next steps for the arrival of this confrere?
The General House has been requested to start the procedures to make it possible for a new Congolese candidate to appear at the exit door of our Zaventem airport, perhaps by the end of summer. Thank you in advance to the General Administration and to the French-speaking African Delegation for the investment to make this possible.