“Future Perspectives” was the theme of the German Province’s assembly held in Neustadt at the end of March. “We discussed how we can live together as a province in the future and in which areas of society we should be present,” explained Father Heinz Lau, 66, provincial superior. Approximately 30 Dehonians took part in the gathering.
The assembly took a close look at the six houses which the province maintains in Germany. In addition to the community house and newly renovated guest space in Neustadt the Dehonians have a formation house in Freiburg, a traditional pilgrimage center in Maria Martental, a city community in Oberhausen, the Gymnasium Leoninum in Handrup, and an international community in Berlin.
The challenges of monastic life in Europe were also discussed. “We are faced with a transformation,” Father Lau said.
The age of the German membership in the province is increasing; however, the community welcomes SCJs from other entities. A total of 14 out of approxiately 50 Dehonians in Germany are from abroad and several are working in leadership positions, for example, as local superiors or on the provincial council.
Together participants developed new points of commitment for the future. It is hoped that lay people can be more involved in the work of the communities. A renewed focus on vocation development is also planned.