Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard

Newsletter No. 9

August 1996


The Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard
takes pride in inviting you to the
Blessing and Opening of

Blessed Gérard's Care Centre
at 61 Anderson Road, Mandeni, South Africa

on the Feast of Blessed Gérard,
Tuesday, 3rd of September 1996


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The Bishop of Eshowe, The Right Reverend Mansuet Dela Biyase will bless the Centre.


The Grand Commander of the Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta (S.M.O.M.), His Excellency, the Honourable Bailiff Frŕ Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein will present a Relic of Blessed Gérard.

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Our Associate Members
The Chairman of the International Committee of the Federal Association of the S.M.O.M. in the U.S.A., Mr. Daniel E. Meehan, K.M.
The Representative of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard in Germany, Herr Studienrat Johannes Lagleder
Frau Oberstudienrätin Albertine Sprenzinger-Sporer camera.gif (1892 bytes) und
Herr Oberstudienrat Johann Sporer
will be conferred Honorary Dedicated Membership in appreciation of their extraordinary and outstanding dedication to our brotherhood.

The new Associate Members will be solemnly admitted.


Programme

13:00 - 15:00 hrs (1 p.m. - 3 p.m.)
We welcome and honour our guests, members and the public with a presentation of our wide range of cultural traditions

17:00 hrs (5 p.m.)
High Mass to bless and open

Blessed Gérard's Care Centre

Main celebrant:
Rt. Rev. Bishop Mansuet Dela Biyase

19:00 hrs (7 p.m.)
Celebratory Supper


BLESSED GÉRARD'S CARE CENTRE

The blessing and opening of Blessed Gérard's Care Centre is really a sort of a miracle. Many most extraordinary events have taken place, without which the centre would never have come into being. One of these is the miraculous support of our members and other donors, which enabled us financially to carry the construction out. Another wonderful event is the readiness of our active members to be trained as care givers and/or home-nursing-teachers, to carry out the duties of the Centre. The most unexpected phenomenon is the international acknowledgement of our activities, which culminates in the unprecedented fact, that the Sovereign Order of Malta will donate a true relic of Blessed Gérard to us, which will be presented at the blessing and opening of the centre by the deputy head-of-state of the Sovereign Order, the Grand Commander personally. Such an honour is unheard of in the 900-years old history of the Order. We wholeheartedly thank the Grandmaster, His Most Eminent Highness Frŕ Andrew Bertie, the Prelate of the Order and the Sovereign Council of the Order for the honour bestowed onto us.


WELCOME TO SISTER ELAINE TAYLOR

Fr. Gérard, the executive, the dedicated members and all the associate members take this opportunity to welcome Sister Elaine Taylor to Mandeni. We trust that you, Elaine, will enjoy your stay and that your work here will be most fruitful.
Please make it your task to make Sister Taylor feel welcome and at home amongst us.


THANK YOU

to Malteser-Hilfsdienst, Germany, for making it possible for Sister Taylor to visit us. We will do our best to learn as much from her as we possibly can.


GREETINGS FROM SISTER ELAINE TAYLOR

Hello, everyone! Yes, I have finally arrived, the "Irish Lady" is here at last. I come from Dublin and am an instructor in the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps in Ireland; which is a voluntary organisation providing a first aid service and community care to the public. I am a registered general nurse with an interest in community nursing. Having arrived in South Africa on 28th June, I am very impressed with the friendliness and kindness of the people I have met. I feel very proud to play a small part in your great project here. Having had a guided tour of the Care Centre, I can only begin to imagine the amount of time and effort you have spent in arranging the finance for such a big project. It must be very rewarding to see the building rise and know that you helped make it possible. It is hoped that I will start the home nursing training by the middle of July. The object of the course is to provide you, the carer, with the basic skills necessary to care of a sick or disabled person in their home or other non-hospital setting. I look forward to meeting you all in the near future.


HOME NURSING COURSES TO BEGIN

We are happy to announce that the following times have been set for our courses: There are several choices so everyone may be accommodated i.e.

  1. Monday & Wednesday from 19:00 to 20:30 hrs. for five weeks ;
  2. Tuesday & Thursday from 19:00 to 20:30hrs for five weeks;
  3. Saturday from 10:00 to 13:00 and 14:30 to 16:00 hrs every alternate week for three weeks.
  4. Tuesday, Thursday from 10:00 to 13:00 hrs and from 14:00 to 16:30 and on Friday from 10:00 to 14:00 hrs for one week.
  5. The junior members will be given the opportunity to learn on a Friday afternoon from 15:30 to 17:00.

Please contact the office for the starting dates of each course. These will be ongoing for the six months that Sister Taylor is in South Africa. From the members who are successful in these courses, candidates will be chosen to go further to become educators. There will be further training for this and a certificate will be issued to those who qualify for them.


UPDATE ON BLESSED GÉRARD'S CARE CENTRE

The opening is drawing closer and closer. The 3rd SEPTEMBER, 1996 is nigh. In our last newsletter we reported on the laying of the foundation stone. Now, just a few months later the building is in it's finishing stages. The face of Mandeni and

especially Anderson Road has been changed permanently! Although there is still a lot to be done, we are happy to say that the building is progressing nicely. For those of you who have been lucky enough to have a tour through the Care Centre it will be a reality, but for those of you who are far away, it will still be a dream. For those active members who are helping to get everything organised, it may seem an impossible task to complete everything timeously. However, with God's divine guidance and all the encouragement,

co-operation and help we are receiving, we are confident that we will achieve the end result.


The roof is on, most of the windows and doors are in, the painting has begun, the plumbing is underway and besides the management team's panic attack and the building contractor's normal frustrations : Blessed Gérard's Care Centre is beginning to look like a "Dream come true"!!!


ANOTHER DREAM COME TRUE IS THE PURCHASE OF AN AMBULANCE FOR BLESSED GÉRARD'S CARE CENTRE.


Before the last price increase in vehicles, it was decided by the executive to take advantage of the timing - thereby facilitating this addition to our assets. The vehicle will help us to transport sick people to and from Blessed Gérard's Care Centre.


THANK YOU

to all our donors who have made this purchase possible. Without all of you we would not be able to carry on. May God bless you for your abundance of good will!


MANAGER APPOINTED:


A very special and happy Welcome to our manager, although welcoming her sounds a bit contradictory, as she was part and parcel of the very beginnings of our Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard. We are proud that our Vice-President, Mrs. Clare Kalkwarf could be employed since 1 July 1996 on a fulltime basis. She had been part of our management committee together with Yvonne Renaud and Fr. Gérard on a voluntary basis before, i.e. she just carries on in her wonderful work, but now as an employee of our organisation. The amount of daily management duties in our rapidly growing organisation just became too much even for three volunteers and Yvonne Renaud is about to leave Mandeni anyway, therefore such a step was more than necessary. We are extremely lucky that we could get such a highly skilled and most efficient manager, who has the spirit of our brotherhood so close at heart. May God bless you and your family and your service in our community.


A WELCOME

also to Miss Thulile Nzuza, who has joined our organisation not only as a member but as the new teacher for our sewing school. We wish her all the very best for the future and trust that she will find fulfilment in passing on her knowledge to those who are in need.


AIDS Education PROGRAMME CONTINUES.

Dr. Thabethe, our medical superintendent and all the active members who were trained as AIDS educators have been extremely busy over the last few months. They have given lectures in various branches of the Mandeni and Mangete parishes, to people ranging from teenagers to adults. But the plan for the following year is to target the youth in all the branches of our parishes. It is really hard to believe that there are still some people who have never heard of AIDS. If you know of any group who would like an AIDS awareness course please contact Dr. Thabethe through the Brotherhood office, to make arrangements.


BROTHERHOOD ONLINE

The computer era has not passed our organisation untouched. Thanks to the initial help of our member Dr. Bernhard Schach and the generosity of CompuQuest/Internet Africa you can access regularly updated information on our organisation on the Internet. Our URL is http://www.netheads.co.za/~gtl/bbg.htm and our E-Mail address is


FAREWELL TO LOUIS AND YVONNE RENAUD.

It is with tears in our eyes and cramping hearts, that we have to say farewell to Yvonne and Louis. They were the first South African members of our brotherhood after its foundation and Yvonne has more than excelled herself in various positions of responsibility. She was the principal of our household school, founded and headed our Friendship Club and was a member of our management committee. She was involved in our local fundraising activities and wherever help or advice was needed, we could count on her fully. What we appreciated most was the sincerity of her friendship and the wholeheartedness of her dedication. Therefore she became the first Dedicated member of our brotherhood after the founder members.

It is hard, to say farewell to both of you, although your membership will continue, as you move to Nelspruit. We will sorely miss you and wish you God's richest blessings in ineffable gratitude and lasting friendship!

St. Anthony's Parish and our brotherhood will give Louis and Yvonne a farewell function on Saturday, 7 September 1996 at 6:30 p.m. in Blessed Gérard's Care Centre. All our members are cordially invited!


MEMBERS' NEWS

BIRTHDAYS

IMG00002.GIF (3434 Byte)We wish a blessed and very happy birthday to:

Mr. Gerald Coughlin on his 80th
Mrs. Ann Bateman on her 75th
Mr. Trevor Thompson on his 70th
Herrn Hermann Kirschner, Herrn Helmut Hartmann and Mrs. Lucia Ncanana on their 60th
Frau Berta Ihlo, Mrs. Thembi Zikhali and Mrs. Jean Geswindt on their 50th
Mr. Peter Wittmann on his 30th

CONGRATULATIONS

to Caroline & Colin Beaumont on the arrival of their beautiful baby girl, Nadine Hazel, who made her appearance on 20th April, 1996.

WELCOME

to all our new members: Frau Gudrun Kolb, Herrn Rudolf Kolb, H. H. Pfarrer Anton Vogl, Mr. Job Ngubane, Mrs. Anna Blackie, Mrs. Zodwa Irene Thomo, Mrs. Tandi Delport, Mrs. Goodness Msomi, Miss Nadine Beaumont, Frau Margarete Schindler, Miss Thembile Majola, Mrs. Annastasia Dube, Hochw. Herrn OStR Bernhard H. Glöckle M.A., Mrs. Reena Cassim, Frau Marianne Oschmann, Mr. John Gundi, Mr. Michael Ayers, Mrs. Phyllis Cunningham, Mrs. Thembile Khuzwayo, Frau Maria Lukassen, Caritas-Sozialstation Neunburg v. Wald e.V., Caritas-Sozialstation Oberviechtach e. V., Caritas-Sozialstation Burglengenfeld e. V., Caritas-Sozialstation Nittenau, Herrn Wilhelm Nees, Herrn Michael Nees, Miss Thulile Nzuza, Mrs. Margaret Filer, Miss Elaine Taylor, Mrs. Dawn Greyvenstein, Miss Donna Messenger, Miss Lucia Messenger, Mrs. Jaqueline Conradie.

Membership Statistics as on 7.8.1996 Active Members Donors Spiritual Supporters Total
South Africa 94 44 11 149
Tanzania     1 1
Austria   1 1 2
Germany 8 137 40 185
Denmark     11 11
Great Britain     1 1
Ireland 1     1
Italy 2     2
USA 3 5 2 10
Chile     1 1
El Salvador     2 2
Total 108 187 70 365

PS: A special Thank you to Clare Kalkwarf for compiling and to Caroline Beaumont for printing and mailing this newsletter!


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