Professions in the Province of the Netherlands: Signs of Renewal

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Professions in the Province of the Netherlands: Signs of Renewal
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For the fourth consecutive year, the friars of the Province of the Netherlands are celebrating simple profession. There is an added bonus this year, as they are also celebrating a solemn profession after a 19-years drought. This time, frs Augustine Aerssens and Richard Steenvoorde were at the center of the international celebration at Steiger, Rotterdam on Sunday, September 10, 2017.

Presiding at the melodious liturgical celebration was the Provincial of the Netherlands, fr René Dinklo. He was assisted by the Provincial of England, fr Martin Ganeri, the Provincial of Teutonia, fr Peter Kreutzwald and a number of friar 

The brothers promised obedience to the Master of the Order in their profession but they do this in the hands and through the provincial. Fr Augustine made his simple vows for three years while fr Richard made his solemn vows until death. The last time there was a solemn profession in the Province of the Netherlands was in 1998 in the hands of then Provincial, fr Jan Verheul. Ironically, the candidate was fr René Dinklo, the current Provincial. 

The readings and the prayers were proclaimed by: Sr Josephina Burger, a Dominican Sisters of Voorschoten, Leny Beemer, a lay Dominican, Thijs Caspers, a friend and fr Tiemen Brouwer.

In his homily, fr René emphasized the resilience of the community life of the brothers and the importance of being enabled first by the love of God and secondly, by one’s own mental and physical health which is a prerequisite for being able to work within divine grace. Community life is a place of formation for mutual love. Community life could sometimes be difficult and a burden but at the same time, it is an ecosystem – sometimes an eccentric ecosystem – in which we learn to guide and protect each other and to feed and drink from the source of divine love. In this situation, we may become true proclaimers of the Good News of Jesus of Nazareth for the sake of human happiness. May it be so for our brothers, Augustine and Richard.

After the liturgical celebration, there were festivities with the friars and their parents, siblings, friends and relatives present.

 

(12 September 2017)