Our Mill Hill Missionary cemetery in Oosterbeek, The Netherlands, was the scene of an unusual ritual of remembrance on All Souls Day this year.
In addition to the customary remembrance of fellow missionaries who died this past year we also placed an urn with a portion of the ash of Fr Theo Raaijmakers MHM in a designated grave (similar portions were deposited in his hometown and in Bolivia where he served as a missionary, at the request of the family).
At the same time we gave special prominence to three colleagues – Fr Bernard J. Vlasveld, Br. Nicholas de Rijk and Brother Nicholas/Conrad Beuman – who died during the Second World War and whose bodies were never found. A collective commemorative headstone now gives them due visibility at our cemetery.
The prayer service, originally planned to take place at the cemetery, was relocated to St Jozefhuis due to the blustery wind. A small number of family members and friends of the deceased joined us for the occasion.
Fons Eppink MHM