On Wednesday, April 4, in the lively Vincent House in Nijmegen (The Netherlands), we waited for Father Tomaž Mavrič, Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission, to arrive. We only knew Father Tomaž from letters he wrote and live from a distance when we attended the Symposium in Rome last October. So we looked forward to actually meeting him.
Together with some friends of the CM House in Panningen, he arrived in Lindenholt, a neighborhood built in the 70s of the last century. First, of course, handshaking and some coffee. Next, a tour in the recently opened new Vincent House where Linda van Aken and Frits Jans proudly showed the Fifty-Cents Shop, the living room where people are welcome to drop in for a cup of coffee and, of course, the social restaurant.
Then the meeting of Father Tomaž with the builders of the Vincent de Paul Center, The Netherlands.Vincent de Paul is a center for social spirituality that recently celebrated its first lustrum. A small group of creative and motivated people with various backgrounds developed the center to what it has become now and is developing it to what might come next.
Each worker at the center presented one of his/her own projects. It was a mix of various activities with which we hoped to give Father Tomaž an impression of our center. To mention some: Tjeu gave, in a few words, the becoming of the center; Hetty told about the Tuesday Conferences; Nelleke about her plans with the “The Table of Twelve;” Peter about the making of his film; and Broer about our masterclass “Inspiring and Serving – Program for Social-Spiritual Leadership.”
Of course we would like to have some more time with Father Tomaž in order to exchange more thoughts, ideas, and plans. But, after a meal of soup and bread, it was time to go. However, not before we could hand over a portfolio and our “lustrum-cup,” which, with its total number of 15 cups, may surely be called a “collector’s item.”
Author: Mathieu Van Knippenberg, CM