Xaverian Assembly 2012
"Falling in Love with the service of God."
-- Theodore James Ryken, 15 June 1839
Bruges, Belgium, is the birthplace of the Xaverian Brothers and is the setting for Assembly, a five-day exploration of the charism of Theodore James Ryken, the congregation's founder. (The charism is comprised of the virtues of compassion, humilty, simplicity, trust and zeal.)
The purpose of the Assembly is for one to discover more about the origins of the Congregation, to learn more about the spiritual tradition that formed Ryken himself, and to discern how God's passion and compassion for all creation yearns to be enfleshed in the lives of the Xaverian Brothers, Xaverian Associates and in the Congregation today.
President Mary Joy Hurlburt shares with us her reflections on the Charism and the spirituality of Theodore James Ryken and the Xaverian Brothers.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
||"We see depictions of these panels everyday in the hallways at St. Mary's Ryken and pass by quickly as we hurry to where we need to be. It is a blessing to have the time to reflect on their background and meaning this week. These four panels in particular are from the chapel in the St. Francis Xavier Institute and illustrate the Brothers' missionary journeys. Today's theme focuses on the Xaverian mission in Africa. Brother Placide from the Congo shared his experiences this morning."
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
"The theme of today's retreat is Falling in love with God, Putting Oneself in the Service of God. The stained glass windows (shown left) capture the history of the Xaverian foundation and are a reminder of the mission of the XBSS schools, which flows from the mission of the Congregation of the Xaverian Brothers: 'to serve the Church in its work of evangelization, particularly through the Church's ministry of education.' "
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
"In 1841 Ryken and his small community of brothers became involved at St. Giles Church in Bruges. What began as a
youth ministry program grew into a full school by 1843.
St. Giles Church (pictured left) is significant as the beginning of our Xaverian Missioni.
"During our meetings this morning we had the opportunity to meet with the Bishop of Bruges Jozef De Kesel.
He also serves as Chaplain to our Xaverian Brother in Bruges. In 1839, the Bishop of Bruges gave his support to Ryken to go forward with his work and mission."
Monday, July 16, 2012
"The Xaverian Assembly 2012 has gotten under way in Bruges,Belgium. The purpose of this assembly is centered on reflecting on the Charism and Spirituality of Theodore James Ryken and the Xaverian Brothers. The Assembly brings together 34 participants who are Xaverian Brothers, Associates or collaborators. The Xaverian Brothers represent Belgium,Congo, Haiti, Kenya and U.S.A. It has been a facinating day listening to the many diverse calls and work the participants are involved in while answering the call to our Xaverian Mission."
Photos: (above left) the Belfry of Bruges, a medieval belltower in the market square, the heart of Bruges; a canal in Bruges.
| Photos: (above left) The house where Theodore James Ryken first lived with the group of early followers is located at 68 Ezelstraat.
Originally the bishop at the time paid the rent. Today the house has been taken over by squatters.
(above right) A few doors down from the house is the beautiful Carmelite Church where the Founder and early Brothers worshiped.
(left) Interior of the church of the Carmelite Fathers.