How we live
We are a small group of men in the Netherlands who have chosen to live a religious life together which is grounded in the Catholic tradition.
A religious life
Jezus Christ plays a central part in our lives. We have been called to his way of life. You could even say that we are being trained by him. We call this: living according to the gospel.
The Catholic tradition
The Roman Catholic church is multi-facetted. Like-minded people have always been able to find one another, joining forces as a group. We want to be one of those groups. We call this: living a religious life.
Everybody is different. Some of us live under the same roof, others live alone but remain in contact with each other. We call this: living in circles. Men and women who share the same source of inspiration as us, live in circles within their own neighbourhood.
What we stand for
When someone opens their heart, his deepest and most intimate motivations become visible. In the same way, God has shown his people that the very ground of his being is love. This is what we want to experience for ourselves, together with others. It is what we stand for. We do not live under the assumption that we have been simply born into this life for no reason. We do not believe in a terrifying god who takes pleasure in making our lives difficult. We believe in a caring God who loves us. His is the basis from which we live and work.God has become close to us in a special way through the person Jezus of Nazareth. In his words and deeds, he revealed something of God’s heart which is merciful and faithful. Mercy and faithfulness go together: faithfulness without mercy is cold and demanding; Mercy without faithfulness is unreliable.In mercy and faithfulness we try to take the side of others regarding the tangible questions of both their and our own lives.As a result, we have not committed ourselves to any particular sort of work, such as education or health-care – however important these may be. Every and any sort of work carried out by us is an expression of what we stand for: Gods love for real people in concrete situations.
In the world
In the 20th century the Dutch MSC province gave a powerful impulse to the founding of local churches, in particular in Indonesia, Brazil and the Philippines. It may be said that, in effect, it was this Missionary work abroad which determined the character of the Dutch province.
All in all, the Dutch province of our congregation has sent approximately 800 missionaries abroad, the last of which was in 1970. Whilst numbers of missionaries from the Netherlands have dwindled, new members amongst local inhabitants of these former ‘missionary areas’ have increased. In some ways, it is now they who carry the torch. Due, in part, to their enthousiastic efforts, the Congregation is presently at work in 55 countries.
As of 2014 there are only 4 brothers of Dutch origin working in the Philippines, with 8 in Indonesia and 11 in Brazil. There are 25 of them in total. Previously, missionaries returned to their original homeland – the Netherlands – in order to retire. These days, missionaries usually choose to grow old in the land to which they have given their best efforts. Having said that, the possibility to return to the Netherlands remains open.