Jubilees celebration on the 25th of May 2024 at Terhaegen, Ghent

Saturday, May 25,

The Mother House Terhaegen prepares to receive the jubilarians celebrating twenty-five, fifty, sixty or seventy years of religious life this year.

The chapel is festively decorated, the sister-sacristan is still busy with some preparations, the choir and organist rehearse one last time, and meanwhile the sisters drop in one by one to celebrate together. The reunion is joyful and the latest news is exchanged in abundance.

Then it is time for the great thanksgiving celebration. Mgr Luc Van Looy, Bishop Emeritus of Ghent, presided over the celebration, which began with a warm welcome from the Superior General. The bishop gave a remarkable homily in which he especially emphasized that it is not we who have chosen God, but it is God who chooses people, and how important it is to abide with that God. All of our speaking and working will not ultimately have much meaning without our relationship with Him. The celebration was further graced by the festive songs of the St. Martinus Choir of Massemen and proceeded in three languages, which again and again expresses the “Cor unum, anima una” (one heart and one soul) of the Congregation.

Then it was time for the reception with a bite and a drink after which we were invited to the beautifully decorated tables in the dining room of Terhaegen for a festive meal. Then followed the traditional speech by the Superior General to warmly congratulate all the jubilarians and to offer them a gift from the General Government. The African sisters among us could not resist ending this happy gathering with songs and dance with the whole group of sisters.

We do not want to end this little impression without a big ‘thank you’ to the kitchen crew who provided the banquet, to Sr. Marie-Christi, who once again outdid herself with delicious pastries, to all the staff who lovingly served and supported us, and not least to the community of Terhaegen, who had hospitably opened their home and transformed it into a place where it was good to be together.

Geert Boone

Please click here to see photos of the celebration.

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