An Honour for Mrs Ria Walk
On 8 September, Ria Walk said farewell to the Marist Brothers of Westerhelling/Nijmegen.
She had worked for 31 years, serving the Brothers, visitors and groups who passed through Westerhelling. In recent months, poor health had been the cause of lengthy absences and she really missed not being able to look after the brothers as usual.
At first, she was employed to do housework in the Brothers’ community. At the end of the 1980s, the number of meetings for religious training and reflection increased in Westerhelling, giving extra work to Ria and her colleague because they had to “do the rooms” and cook for about fifteen people. Ria was a good cook who loved cooking and her meals were greatly appreciated by her “passing trade” and by the Brothers, of course!!!
During the nineties, some refugees added their number to the community and from then on it was necessary to take care of 12 people and to plan appropriate meals.
From 2000, Westerhelling was the location of the Provincial House of the new province of West Central Europe. Ria adapted to these new circumstances and was always ready to serve the Brothers or those who came from Germany, Belgium or Great Britain. She had no trouble making herself understood by visitors from such different countries. Everyone understood her “sign language”.
To mark a Jubilee of the Brothers, Ria presented the community with a really beautiful tapestry of the Virgin Mary which she had made herself. Today, the tapestry can be found in the dining-room of the house. The tapestry must have required hundreds of hours of work and this is yet further evidence of her strong involvement in the life of the community.
For her generous dedication, her good humour and her honest laughter, Ria received the papal honour “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice”. It is a well-earned reward for a long career in the service of a religious community. Her endeavour constituted a precious and important contribution to the apostolic work of the Brothers.
Ria can look back on all these wonderful years with pride and gratitude.
The festivities came to a close with a celebration meal which brought together members of her family, acquaintances, Brothers and colleagues.
Orore Summer Camp 2018
Orore Summer Camp 2018
Once again this year, a group of 11 Marists, including Jasmin Nimar from the Cmi team, Wolfgang Hacker, PE Teacher at the Maristenkolleg, Mindelheim, Brother Michael and 8 young adults – 5 of them former Cmi volunteers from Mindelheim – came to Orore.
Orore is a fishing village on Lake Victoria in Kenya, where there is a community of brothers who run Our Lady of Orore Primary School and a boarding section.
The summer camp, which was organized from that group, took place from the 18th till the 30th of August. Approximately 65 children, most of them pupils of our school but also some children from the village, were allowed to stay in the boarding section over the holidays instead of going home. They had the opportunity to participate in the programme of the summer camp, where they could work on something practical, or design some beautiful or simply interesting craft work in the 2 ½ h morning session. In the afternoon they could experience fun while playing new games, practicing challenging group exercises or participating in competitions in well-known or new sports on the large sports ground like volleyball, netball or football. The programme was completely planned and carried out by the team from Mindelheim. The brothers and four local teachers from the school assisted us in the activities.
The objective of the camp, which was to provide a safe environment for orphans or children coming from difficult circumstances, has definitely been fulfilled. They had the chance simply to be children, having fun and experiencing a safe and joyful time. Sometimes it does not take much to make a child happy, even something as simple as blowing soap bubbles or playing silly games with young and old together.
In order for the summer camp to have a lasting effect, the volunteers want to organize events and personal presentations back in Germany to inform people about the circumstances of children in our school in Orore, and to promote school sponsorships for particularly needy children. The school fee, which covers all costs for one school year (schooling, boarding, meals, school uniforms . . .) is 400 euros. If you would like more information or would like to take on a personal school sponsorship, you are most welcome to contact one of the participants or the Cmi office in Mindelheim (Tel No: +49 8261/22024-60 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org).
For all 11 participants from Germany, but also for the brothers and teachers on site and especially for the children, the days together were a wonderful time, characterized by deep experiences, e.g. T. personal insights and experiences and joyful encounters. The feedback was so positive from all sides that already a third summer camp is being planned for 2020.