The Father that made us a Community
A Response by the Community of the Eendrachtskapel (June 12th, 2022)
Dear father Richard, that you are leaving us today, brings up mixed emotions. You are leaving us and that brings us sadness. Yes, we understand the reasons for your departure and we know you leave us in good and capable hands .... but we will miss your smile and patience, your kindness and care, your energy and friendship, ... and last but not least, your proper English accent...
Yet, while sad, you leave us with a strong feeling of gratitude. We are grateful for all you have done for us in the short 3- and one-half years you spent with us. You have baptized some of us, confirmed others and even married some of us. You were our father to whom we went to confession or when we just needed advice. We laughed a lot and learned a lot.
The pilgrimage by bike to Brielle on St. Dominic’s Day 2021 (source: www.dominicanen.nl)
Your sermons always enlightened us, challenged our intellect, and made us grow in faith. We learned about Carlo Acutis, John Henry Newman and C.S. Lewis. You took us through the psalms and the bible, to Amsterdam and Brielle, nights of adoration and Friday Night movies, Nightfever and - most importantly - you shepherded us through a pandemic which no one expected, and which brought fear and uncertainty to all.
The pandemic challenged us in many ways, but you were always there, online and – once we could get together again to celebrate – at Mass and after Mass. You were the light that guided us through the darkness. You brought us together.
“Strong guys” at the farewell BBQ 2022 with Ivan
You leave us stronger in faith, hope and in love for the other. These are things we will always cherish and be grateful for. We wish you all God’s blessings in your new endeavours in Leuven but don’t be a stranger: you are always welcome at the Eendrachtskapel!
It is not a farewell, but only a goodbye until we meet again!