Dear Religious Family,
Through this chronicle, we wish to share with you the beauty of the days which we have experienced in the beginning of October. As everyone knows, we are living in a monastery of Benedictine sisters with the purpose of maintaining the contemplative religious life in this place. October 15, 2011 was the day fixed to make the official transfer of the monastery to our Institute, with the blessing of the bishop. It was the desire of the prioress of the Benedictine sisters, Mother María Scholastica, to make known publicly and officially that once the sisters have gone, the monastery will be left under our care.
For one reason or another, the only date that the bishop was available was October 15, the feast day of our dear St. Teresa of Jesus, which for us, was very providential. With the celebration of the transfer, we celebrated the 50 years of the consecration of the Church of the monastery (April 22 this year), and the 20 years of foundation of the SSVM contemplative branch.
For this occasion, we invited our beloved founder, Fr. Buela, who arrived to the Netherlands a few days before. These days which we spent together with him and our dear Mother General were filled with many graces. Fr. Buela gave us a talk about Pope John Paul II, and we participated in the Holy Mass celebrated by him on various occasions. His sermons and advices have been a great encouragement to continue with the work which God has entrusted to us in this mission. Father enthroned the image of Blessed Pope John Paul II which we had put in the entrance of the monastery and also, the Virgin of Luján in our private chapel.
As we have mentioned above, the Holy Mass on October 15 was presided by Bishop Monsignor Franz Wiertz and concelebrated by 15 IVE and diocesan priests. During the offertory, Mother Scholastica, prioress of the Benedictines, presented a model of the convent and at the end of the Mass, the bishop gave it to M. Anima as a sign of the transfer of the monastery. It was a very moving moment for all present.
After the Mass, a reception was held, and there was an opportunity to visit the ground floor of the convent where an exposition was prepared by both the Benedictine sisters and those of our Institute, with pictures, books and texts of the early monastery in Valkenburg. All those invited benefited greatly from the exposition. It was also a great opportunity to raise awareness about the monastery and to show that the religious life will carry on in this place even though the Benedictine sisters are no longer here. It was a great comfort to see the joy of the people, who were very grateful because we will continue with the religious presence here and over all, with Eucharistic Adoration. This is something that will never cease to amaze us, because the Church in Holland has taken such a beating, and the fact that the people still value these things is nothing less than a miracle of grace. The people asked us if we would continue with the group of adorers who normally come until 7 o´clock in the evening. By answering yes, it was as if a weight had been lifted. Others were ready to search for more people to increase the group. Others have offered economic and logistic help to us. Yet, the most beautiful to see was that little by little, hope was awakened in their hearts and it was verified that the Church is young, alive, has vocations, and is not limited nor does it end during difficulties and hard times.
After the reception, a festive lunch took place in an atmosphere of great happiness and joy.
Once again, we would like to thank Fr. Buela for his presence and his fatherly care; Mother Anima; our Provincial mother and the sisters who were an enormous help; Fr. Tristán, Provincial Superior of the IVE fathers in the Netherlands, and Fr. José Ansaldi. We also extend our thanks to all the volunteers who for days before were helping with all the necessary preparations as well as all of our benefactors. May God reward you abundantly!
We commend ourselves to your prayers.
In the Incarnate Word, the sisters of the monastery Ecce Homo