NETHERLANDS - On March 24, Fr. Marco PASINATO, SMM, assistant of Superior General Fr. Luiz Augusto STEFANI, SMM, announced to the Superior of the Dutch Province, Fr. Peter DENNEMAN, SMM, that on behalf of the General Council, he intended to travel to the Netherlands for a visitation. It was agreed that this would start on April 7, immediately after the BDNL missionaries meeting in Marienheide, Germany. Fr. Marco is responsible for the visitation of all entities in Europe during this mandate of the General Council. He indicated that he would like to have conversations with all confreres personally, including the confreres who live independently, and then have a joint community meeting. He also would like to talk to the bursar, the archivist and the secretary.
On one hand, Fr. Marco wants to listen and collect information for the General Council, also in preparation of the General Chapter. On the other hand, he wants to inform the confreres about the course taken with regard to the congregation worldwide and answer any questions about that topic. In 2018, new, young superiors have been elected and appointed by the General Council in almost all entities. As a result, the congregation has been considerably rejuvenated from an administrative point of view.
Fr. Marco was, on behalf of the General Council, present at the Provincial Chapter of June 15 to 16, 2021. It was already clear to him which challenges the Dutch Province is facing, among others regarding the 2-track policy. To establish Vroenhof to be set up as the monastery where the care for the ageing confreres can be provided. It has been agreed with the neighbouring "Residentie Vroenhof" that through them (NobamaCare), night care will be provided when needed. All rooms will have fire alarms and carbon dioxide alarms and the elevator will be modernised. The heating unit has been completely renewed and LED-lighting has been installed in all rooms in August 2021. The monastery in Schimmert will be prepared and in due course, renovated and furnished as accommodation for the confreres from Indonesia for the expansion and continuation of the Montfort Project. Please note: the older confreres who now live in Schimmert do not have to move; only if they need more healthcare. The confreres living independently will, when the time comes, go and live in the community of Vroenhof, for the reasons mentioned above.
- Thursday, April 7, interviews in Vroenhof + community meeting
- Friday, April 8, telephone interview with Pierre Robertz, SMM and in the afternoon interviews with the confreres living independently in Brabant
- Saturday, April 9, interviews in Schimmert + community meeting
- Monday, April 11, interviews with the staff of the provincial office:
Servé Kengen (administration / archives) and Monique Heijman (secretary)
- Tuesday, April 12, attendance at the meeting of the Provincial Council and subsequent interviews with the bursar, Jan Lathouwers, SMM and the Provincial Superior, Fr. Peter DENNEMAN, SMM.
The fact that in the Dutch communities, two Masses a day are held in the chapel and a gathering in the recreation room in the evening, was highly appreciated by Fr. Marco. He said that this is not a common phenomenon in every entity, just like the out loud reading of the deceased Montfortians worldwide after the daily lunch. He expressed his gratitude for the good hospitality of the Dutch Montfortians.
This expression of gratitude is mutual. Each confrere was able to tell his story: about possible health issues, what brings joy, where things sometimes do not go so well within the community or perhaps with fellow confreres, and how to see the future of the Dutch Province. Occasionally a suggestion was made to discuss a particular topic at the General Chapter of 2023.
Thanks to Fr. Marco for his pleasant manner, questioning and especially his art of listening. We wish him success in visiting the other European entities within his mandate and the gathering of information from all the Montfortian fathers and brothers, which may affect the welfare and survival of the whole congregation.
April 12, 2022