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The affiliation to the institute of Hans Wennink

27/05/2010: General House - Photo gallery

On Tuesday 27 April, during the celebration of the Eucharist and in the presence of the General Council, thirteen new Provincials in Rome for their meeting with the General Council and Paulien, his wife, Br Emili Turu presented Hans Wennink with a Certificate of Affiliation to the Institute.

Hans has had a very long association with the Marist Family. On completion of secondary schooling he joined the Marist Fathers. Following his novitiate, he started his theological studies at the Catholic University of Nijmegen. During this time he decided not to continue with the Fathers. He however remained on at the university completing his theological studies, obtaining first his Licentiate and subsequently, his doctorate.

Hans’ early association with the Brothers was while a seminarian. The residence for the Marist seminarians was next door to the Brothers’ residence and school at Nijmegen and the seminarians and Brothers frequently met together. Among his early recollections is that of the Brothers being very hands on, practical people, full of dedication.

Hans’ more recent association with the Marist Brothers dates back to 1994. Shortly after joining the staff of a Dutch family foundation, he renewed contact with Br Jacques Scholte, then Provincial of Belgium and the Netherlands whom he had known while still a seminarian. They met in connection with a project for young men coming released from prison. His Marist contacts outside the Netherlands were, however, more extensive.

In his new work, Hans had special responsibility for Southern Africa, Catholic Higher Education worldwide and International projects. In this position, he was soon in contact with the Brothers in South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Madagascar and at the Marist International College in Nairobi, Kenya. Hans took a keen interest in the Brothers and their work and was an invaluable partner in a wide variety of projects. He has always been available to advise on a wide range of issues ranging from buildings to formation programs, from rural schools to tertiary institutions, from education and information technology to catechetical programs.

Hans has been a true partner in our mission of making Jesus known and loved. Our values are very much his. His humility and simplicity, love of work, Marial spirit and concern for the poor are evident to all who get to know him.

Affiliation to the Institute was a fitting tribute to a person who has associated himself very closely with the Brothers and our apostolate. He has made a very significant contribution to our work, not simply through facilitating financial assistance to a variety of projects, a contribution without which much that has been achieved would have been left undone or only partly done, but because he believes in the Brothers and our work. He has encouraged, challenged, supported and associated himself fully with what we are about. He is truly an associate of the Brothers of whom we can be proud.

Here down you find the words that Hans Wennink gave during the event.
Dear Brothers,

I am grateful to all of you and I am especially grateful to God and to Mary, our Mother, that you have granted me the honour to become one of you as an affiliated member of the Institute.

For a long time I have had the honour of working with many of you all over the world. I got to know you as men of compassion, as men taking seriously the dignity of every human being. You are changing structures that exclude people. I saw your solidarity especially towards the disadvantaged youth. And I know your spirituality where this service to people originates . I love this hands-on spirit of hands on, of acting for the common good as your founder Marcellin Champagnat did.

Paulien and I will continue to pray for all of you, that you keep your strong spirit in service of people all over the world alive.

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