Today, Tuesday January 25th, is an important day in the history of the Dutch Region of the Mill Hill Missionaries.
At a formal meeting in the common room at Sint Jozefhuis, Oosterbeek, Dutch Regional, Martien van Leeuwen, signed the deed of sale of Missiehuis Vrijland in the presence of Sollicitor, Fechter, and assorted representatives.
This sale which has been close to 8 years – and more than 110 meetings – in the making marks an important transition in the history of the Dutch Region of the Mill Hill Missionaries.
In his speech held at the occasion Dutch Regional, Brother Martien van Leeuwen MHM, sketched the history of Missiehuis Vrijland from its inauguration on May 1st 1957 to the present transaction. He highlighted the worldwide activities of the Mill Hill Missionaries, some of whom now resident at Missiehuis Vrijland, in the service of the Gospel. And singled out Bernard van Spaandonk MHM, currently ministering to residents of a (former) leper colony in The Philippines, as an example of contemporary missionary involvement.
“We are grateful for what has been and look towards the future in confidence’.
The need for drastic action arose, he explained, from the gradual decline in numbers of residents at Missiehuis Vrijland and steeply rising costs.
The new owner, Lunee Vastgoed, property developer, intends to refurbish part of the current building and tear down/rebuild the rest over a period of 2- 3 years. A multipurpose nursing and care home will arise from the ‘ashes’ of the old building. Current occupants of Missiehuis Vrijland will find a welcome home in the new establishment once the building activities are completed.
Sint Jozefhuis, the retirement home adjacent to Missiehuis Vrijland built just over a decade ago, will be retained as the sole property and foothold of the Mill Hill Missionaries in the Netherlands.
The awareness and acceptance of endings suffused the proceedings.
More than in bricks and mortar the missionary spirit continues in the hearts of people.
Seeds have been sown.
Who knows what surprising shoots will eventually seek their way towards the light and flourish?
Fons Eppink mhm
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