The Dutch Region of the Mill Hill Missionaries celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the Mill Hill Missionary Society (126 years in Holland) on 29th June, the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul.
A large number of invited guests – former members and associates, friends, personnel – joined the communities of Vrijland and St Jozefhuis on this joyful day of celebration. A marquee had been installed on the lawn to accommodate the overflow of visitors and protect everyone from the effects of the unpredictable weather.
Fr Jac Hetsen, former General Superior, was the main celebrant at the solemn Eucharist with Fr Michael Corcoran, current General Superior, and FrDesmond McGillicuddy, General Councillor, as concelebrants.
Fr Jac Hetsen mhm
In his homily Fr Jac Hetsen sketched a brief history of Mill Hill Society referring to its founder and the beginnings and further development of Mill Hill Society in Holland. Currently there are 122 Dutch members with an average age of 83. Of these 27 are still active beyond the national borders. Mission accomplished?
The challenges of mission remain as important and urgent as ever.
'Perhaps the challenges of mission nowadays are bigger than ever. Secular society asks for a new approach, renewed catechesis and sevice. Amare et Servire – To love and to Serve.'
Pope Francis calls for a globalisation of mercy and solidairty, and a revolution of tenderness….
Fr Michael Corcoran, General Superior, in turn spoke of his current experience of the contemporary 'Acts of the Apostles':
Over the past few months I have been celebrating in various countries the 150th jubilee of our foundation as a Mill Hill Society where local church leaders and those gathered for the celebrations sang the praises of past Mill Hill Missionaries and demonstrated a genuine affection and respect for the work our Society-has done in the past. It is a song I have heard in
Westminster, The Philippine Islands, Kenya, Scotland, our APF gatherings in Salford and Freshfield and here today bearing broad and rich testimony to our motto, 'to love and to serve.
Fr Michael Corcoran mhm
'Our Mill Hill Charism 'to go to those most in need of God's grace' framed in a rich and colourful tradition begun in 1866 will continue long into the future, by the help of God and with the support of God's people. The future is in God's hands. The Spirit will show us the way forward and hopefully we will be able to respond with enthusiasm. In the meantime we continue to do
what we do best – Mission. Our long and impressive record of doing mission throughout the world including what we are doing in this country will inspire, inform and guide future generations of missionaries and peoples, wherever they come from'.
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