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Provincial Chapter of Germany (Brs)

The Provincial Chapter of Germany took place April Monday April 6 through Friday 10 in Werne. The community there prepared for the participants, 18 in all. Brother Athanasius Burre of the Congregation of the Brothers of Mercy of Mary the Helper moderated and Alberto Toutin was there as member of the General Council.

The chapter began with a reflection   under the direction of Andre Pollmann and Michael Ostholhoff, both youth chaplains. They sought to redefine the verbs “to  invest” and “to consume” and to apply to religious community the challenges involved. They symbolized this dynamic by gifting the community with an apple tree planted in the community garden with the hope of producing good and abundant fruit. (Photo 1)

Taking up the agenda of the chapter, the Provincial and the Provincial Econome made their reports as did the commissions on finances, vocation/formation, and communications. The Chapter proceeded to elect the Provincial and Council, 2015-2018. Heinz-Josef Catrein was reelected provincial and the councilors are: Peter Egenolf (Vicar), Martin Königstein, Heinz Klapsing, Arne Kirsebom (Photo 2).

Between the reports and the election the principal criteria for the orientation of the new government were discussed: a reorganization of the works in view of a better coordination among them and in networking with other groups. The Chapter received positively the urge to renewal contained in the proposal of the General Government to receive brothers of the African Province into the German Province. With this, there are  interesting  possibilities of opening new apostolic presences in the German Province enriched by the international dimension of the Congregation.

A commission was set up to look into these new initiatives, get the brothers used to the idea and to put together the information necessary to make decisions. The results will be presented before September 30, 2015 and will be considered in the second session of the chapter which is set for October 5-6, 2015 (Photos 3, 4 and 5).

There were jubilee celebrations during the Chapter: April 7 Bernhard Bornfeld (40 years of presbyteral ordination) and Arne Marco Kirsebom (25 years of presbyteral ordination), (Photo 6) and on April 10 both Gerd Nieten and Kurt Roters (50 years of religious progession (Photo 7). Two members of the Secular Branch came to the Chapter on Wednesday, April 10. (Photo 8)

Special thanks are due to the brothers of the Werne community, to the Provincial Heinz-Josef  Catrein and his council for the preparation of the Chapter, to the local superior  Heinz Klapsing and the econome of the Werne community Ernst Schmidt for the fraternal and attentive welcome. And then also  thanks to the new government who assume this important, necessary and at time difficult service of authority of the Province (Photos 9-11.)