ROTSELAAR, Belgium – In observance of the annual tradition during All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, the Belgian delegation organized this year’s memorial celebration on Sunday, 29th of October in Rotselaar, where the delegation cemetery is located. Invitations were sent to the families of the deceased confreres and despite noting a noticeable decrease in family member attendance in recent years, approximately 80 people participated in the Eucharist this year.
The memorial service began with the Holy Eucharist which was presided over by Fr. Nepo, SMM and was concelebrated by Fr. Jos, SMM and Fr. Trésor, SMM. In his sermon, Fr. Nepo emphasized the significance of faith and love in unifying everyone as one family, as well as in commemorating the memory of the deceased confreres who rest in peace and live in Christ. Reflecting on their dedicated service to the congregation and celebrating their commitment to the mission provides living and young missionaries with the inspiration to faithfully follow Jesus. In doing so, they evangelize and proclaim the Gospel in the footsteps of Montfort, guided by the motherly care of Mary, our mother.
After the Eucharistic celebration, those who were able to walk joined in a procession to the cemetery. At the cemetery, Fr. Jos reminded the participants that by entrusting their confreres to the mother earth, they also entrust them to the eternal peace of God - kind, forgiving, and compassionate. Following the cemetery blessing, they walked back to the hall for a cup of coffee, along with topped bread, sandwiches, and cake.
In the hall, Fr. Jos introduced and informed the attendees about the arrival of young missionaries from Congo and India in the delegation, detailing their preliminary preparations to continue the legacy and mission activities for which the Montfort missionaries are known in Belgium. He invited people to participate in the one-day recollection organized by the Belgian delegation, known as the ‘Montfortian Forming and Meeting Day (MVOD)’. Attendees were pleased with the organization of the celebration and expressed their hope to attend again next year.
Fr. Nepolean JAMES RAJ, SMM