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A personal account and reflection
By Sister Mary Carmela OCD
Sister Mary Carmela last wrote here in May-June 2004. The website of her monastery is www.dentroost.ie
‘Oh, how good and wonderful it is when brothers and sisters live as one…’ (Ps 132)
The ‘dinner and dance for a cause,’ for the benefit of the Carmelite monastery church, was a great success. Because it was perfectly done and pleased everyone and because of the number who came? No! Success is not measured by quantity but by quality, not by how perfectly something is done but by the love with which it is done. To please everyone? We know that’s impossible! But the success of our fiesta lies in something more than that. We can only point to the unity, team-work, coordination, reconciliation, joyful and selfless giving of time, talents and resources by the different communities, Filipino and Belgian, without asking who would get the credit. This created the proper ambience and warm fellowship that led to a very enthusiastic response from the contented guests, something captured beautifully on their videos and by their cameras. There were many other hidden things seen only by the Lord that will surely be revealed on judgment day.
Each guest on arrival received lumpia rolls and a drink. The formal dinner began at with an opening prayer by our parish priest, Pastor Geert Aelbrecht. The dinner for 500 reminded us of the multiplication of loaves when Our Lord fed 5,000. It was unbelievable how, with a modest sum of money for food, there was more than enough - except for rice and dessert! Fortunately, one Filipina had an extra sack of rice. But all were content with the delicious Asian dishes. The minor hitches were nothing compared to the generous, free labor of the kitchen staff, which normally costs much in
The formal program started after 9. ilibeth Villareal was the main emcee, while Iny Goyvaerts-Driessen introduced the dances in Nederlands, Dutch (Flemish), one of
Then came the finale. After Iny’s short introduction, a beautiful Belgian teenager in Maria Clara attire took over the microphone as narrator for a re-enactment of the Christianization of the
This number culminated in the Sinulog, ending with Queen Juana raising the image of the Santo Niño. There were also two hand-painted images of the Sto Niño’s face, courtesy of the Sandiego Dance Troupe in
The whole program was moving and awe-inspiring, and culturally enriching and informative, as there was an explanation before each dance. And there were many children and young people present, the dancers alone numbering around 20.span style="mso-spacerun:yes"> The Sisters were happy and felt privileged to get to know some of them because they came to
The affair ended with a dance for all. The organizing group, despite their tiredness, still had the generosity and thoughtfulness to come back the following day to clean up the place.
During the next few days everyone we met had nothing but praise for the Filipinos and their supportive Belgian spouses, children and friends. A few kind people gave constructive feedback to make the fiesta better next time.
The Sisters couldn’t find words to express their gratitude for the generous voluntary assistance of the Filipino community for the ongoing restoration of the church of this precious
Of course, the Vilvoorde Filipino community deserves not just a ‘big hand’ but a ‘grand salute’! We also owe our thanks to our parish priest, Pastor Geert Aelbrecht and Meneer (Mrs) Lucien Rummens, the zaal administrator, for allowing us the free use of the spacious hall and for being present at the affair.
We can only attribute everything to a power beyond us, Who made such a remarkable thing to happen in the midst of the spiritual crisis in st1:place w:st="on">Europe. As to its lasting fruits in the lives of people, we leave it all to God. We can only give Him all praise, glory and honor with Our Blessed Mother, Onze Lieve Vrouw van Troost,, Our Lady of Consolation, the Queen and Beauty of Carmel.
You may contact Sr Mary Carmela at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Karmelklooster, Trootstraat 2, 1800