26 May 2021
26 May 2021

Social Works, Projects and Social Commitment in the German Province

How is the social commitment made concrete in the Congregation? The virtual tour of the entities begins in Germany. The social commitment in the different religious communities.

by  Olav Hamelijnck scj

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In the German Province there is currently no express social work.
In all of the houses, there are social activities, some of them as a community project, others as a personal initiative. For example, Stefan Tertünte in Rome, for the homeless, to which several confreres of the community have joined.

Every community helps with social projects or organizations financially.
Subsequently, the confreres help people in precarious social situations within the pastoral field, accompanying them or even providing financial and organizational support. Personal initiative and commitment in favor of refugees and migrants is growing.

  • The Berlin community has experienced that more and more people are seeking treatment for psychological problems. In order to help these individuals better, they rely on the help of a therapist, who lives in the neighboring building.
    In the Portuguese-speaking community, there is a weekly social service visit by a lady volunteer. The fathers of the Convent are responsible for the personal and pastoral care of these people. In addition, the confreres occasionally accompany the people to public facilities, such as to the doctor or to the hospital. In support of our confreres, the various communities in which they work accompany, for example, a family from Afghanistan and many people from Vietnam. Often it is possible to help, avoiding bureaucracy and costs.
  • In the community of Handrup, where we have the college (high school aged in the US), the 11th grade students do a two-week internship in a social institution accompanied by personal reflection, together with a teacher whom is chosen by the students themselves. In addition, one of the confreres celebrates Mass with the recuperands in a neighboring “Hope Farm”, and is also available for personal conversations. Through spiritual life, community life, and manual work, the rehabilitants find a new way out of drugs. Another project organized by Dehonian confreres, is “My Mission”, in which students of the College have a Mission experience abroad.
  • The house in Oberhausen, where for the moment only one confrere lives, was deliberately founded in a city, in which there are many socially deprived areas. As a community we are involved in various social projects. For examples: contact with a clothing bazaar near the Convent; membership on the supervisory board of a church youth welfare institution; working as a teacher in a vocational school and in parallel working with young people without vocational training who are recovering their school-leaving certificate; financial support for social organizations and foundations, especially for children. When hiring employees for the house, people who depends on salary were purposely chosen.
  • The Convent of Maria Martental supports the work of the social institution “St. Martin” for people with disabilities, to whom the Convent’s facilities are also rented. The Convent provides shelter for a homeless person. The house is committed to helping SCJs in Transnistria, in support of medical centers and social institutions, coordinated by our local priests.
  • he Neustadt Convent supports a municipal association, which works for homeless and socially disadvantaged people. The Convent offers work to people who have to absolve a social welfare service, which can be considered a mutual benefit.
  • The missionary search and the central fundraising office of the German province are also located in the Neustadt house. In cooperation with the respective houses of the province, they seek donations to support and assist Dehonian social projects in different parts of the world.
  • The Freiburg friary for many years has given shelter to one or two homeless people. For more than 30 years there has been a center for the homeless in the city of Freiburg, where they receive comprehensive care: food distribution, medical and psychological care, etc. It was co-founded by one of our priests, who is still involved in the project today. In addition, some fraters have an experience with the homeless. Every year, the homeless are invited to a barbecue in the garden of the Convent.

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