Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard

Newsletter No. 1

5 May 1993

Dear friends,

We have promised a circular letter to some of you already. Therefore it is time to become serious about it, as you should know exactly what happens in our Brotherhood.

Members

In the meantime we developed into a clan of 40 members, of which are in South Africa 5 founder members + 10 active associate members = 15 active members + 2 supporting members = 17 members in South Africa + 1 supporting member in Tanzania + 22 supporting members in Germany = 40 members.

Constitution

We made some little changes to the text of our constitution for legal reasons and in order to comply with the requirements of the Order of Malta, to officially acknowledge us as a "work" of the order, i.e. to affiliate us to their international organisation as an autonomous body. We attach the current version of the Constitution to this letter.

Projects

Our Malnutrition Clinic in Sundumbili is running very well and it proofs to be very necessary and helpful.

Our Basic Training for Domestic Helpers will celebrate its first graduation tomorrow. The graduates and we are likewise very enthusiastic.

Both of our Twilight Clubs ( Clubs of the Aged ) in Mandini and Mangete are very well received by the old people.

Our Self - Help - Centre (Community - Development - Centre) in Sundumbili will open its doors on June 1. We already employed a teacher, who will teach dressmaking. She is about to do all the still necessary preparations.

Our "Home" or "Hospice"- Project still needs lots of preparations. At the moment we are busy to negotiate with the Department of Health and Welfare to sort out the legal side of the project.

Our Bursary Fund is well used by many poor students.

Our project co-ordinators will give a detailed report on all of our projects in our next circular letter.

Prayer

The Dedicated Members pray the attached prayer daily. We invite all our associate members as well to join us in this daily prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ -

through your grace you have called me to serve you as a member of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard. I thank you for counting me worthy of this task. I ask you humbly, with the intercession of Our Lady, St. John the Baptist, Blessed Gérard Tonque and all the Saints that the spirituality of our Brotherhood may pervade my life and my actions to be always dedicated to your service in my family, my friends and whoever needs my help. Trusting in your help I always want to protect the faith and have an open heart for my neighbour, especially the Poor, the Sad, the Lonely, the Handicapped and the Sick. Grant me the strength needed to live according to this resolution as an upright Christian selflessly in the Spirit of Your Gospel. For the honour of God - for the peace of the world and the benefit of our community.

Amen.

Badge

We changed our badge in order to comply with the regulations of the Order of Malta, because all works of the Order of Malta use the Maltese Cross in an occidental shield. Therefore our badge looks like that now:

Promoting the membership

We attach another application form and our English and Zulu information brochure with the request, that you may please approach your friends and acquaintances and promote the associate membership in our Brotherhood. We have clearly defined in the new version of our statutes what the associate membership is all about: There are two kinds of associate members:

1. The active associate members. They participate in the Brotherhood's activities, e.g. helping in a Twilight Club or teaching in the Domestic Training or helping with the Feeding Scheme.

2. The supporting associate members. They are not actively involved in the Brotherhood's works, but assist the Brotherhood financially or spiritually, either

a. as donors of material goods, who support the Brotherhood through their membership fees or

b. as spiritual supporters, who support the Brotherhood by prayer (e.g. our Brotherhood prayer) and sacrifices ( e.g. the offering to bear sickness or loneliness ).

Membership Fees

If you have not yet done so, please forward your fee to the Administrator of Goods of the Brotherhood under our address.

Thanks

We would like to close this first circular letter with our big thanks to all our members who are standing in the active service to the poor here and to those who support our service financially and spiritually. May God reward you a thousand fold!

Yours most gratefully

Father Gérard ( President )


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