11 February 2014

Marists in Germany


100 Years of Marists in Germany

On February 2nd, over thirty Priests and Religious from the Parish of St. Stephen met together at the Marist College in Mindelheim.

On February 3rd, there was a large gathering at the school in Recklinghausen to commemorate the arrival of the first Brothers exactly one hundred years earlier.

Mindelheim

On the feast of the Presentation of the Lord and Candlemas, over thirty Priests and Religious from the Parish of St. Stephen met together at the Marist College in Mindelheim. On the annual Day for Consecrated Life they come together to one of the Religious houses in the town. This year we Marist Brothers were the hosts.

After a short tour of the Brothers’ new community house and time for chatting over coffee and cake the meeting closed with a short procession and the celebration of Vespers together in the College chapel.

The photograph shows the Priests of the town with the local religious. The following Institutes were represented; the Mary Ward Sisters, the Sisters of the Holy Cross, the Servants of the Immaculate Virgin Mary Mother of God, members of the Society of the redeeming Love of Christ and the community of the Marist Brothers. Brother Heinrich was not there since he was representing the community at Recklinghausen at the centenary celebrations of the arrival of the Brothers in Germany.

Recklinghausen

On 3rd February 2014 at the school in Recklinghausen our thoughts turned to the arrival of the first Brothers who exactly one hundred years earlier, on 3rd February 1914 moved into the house in Hertener Strasse. There were two Brothers, Raimund Koop and Alois Dassen, who had come from Arlon.

Brother Raimund had received a couple of years earlier from the General Council the task of looking out for a suitable house in Germany. Since he came from the neighbourhood of Recklinghausen and indeed had done his School Leaving Certificate in the town, he heard that the College of St. Joseph in the diocese of Münster was advertised for sale. After long negotiation and with the approval of the General Council the contract was signed. The cost was 100,000 Reichsmark.

More and more German Brothers came from Arlon to Recklinghausen; and when the First World War broke out all the German Brothers – over 100 of them – and the 110 Juniors, half of whom came from the Ruhr area, were forced to leave Arlon and found a new home here.

However, the house was soon requisitioned to take in wounded prisoners of war. Since it was no longer possible to conduct school lessons, many Brothers were appointed as carers of the sick and apart from that, many others were conscripted into the army. It was not until 1919 that the house became free again.

With the whole school community and some honoured guests we celebrated Mass with the auxiliary Bishop D. Geerlings. After a Champagne reception there was a short ceremony in the school followed by a shared hot buffet. There was a photographic exhibition of the history of the house inviting the guests to learn about its various activities.

The major centenary celebration will take place in Furth in September.

 

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