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Ceremony honouring the Carmelites interred at Dachau
On August 2, 2018, a commemorative ceremony took place in the concentration camp of Dachau, Germany, to honour the ten Carmelites buried there, among whom were Titus Brandsma and Hilary Januszewski, beatified in 1985 and 1999 respectively.
This ceremony concluded the international course of formation for Carmelite students which took place in Holland and Germany in late July. The celebration began with a welcome by the Prioress of the Discalced Carmelite nuns of Dachau, called the Carmel of the Precious Blood (Karmel Heilig Blut). The Prioress illustrated the history and the motive of the nuns’ presence in such a place: reparation and prayer for reconciliation and peace.
The Carmelites present were then led in procession to the Memorial of the camp, where the Prior General, Fernando Millan Romeral, O.Carm., unveiled a stone which recalls the ten Carmelites – eight Poles and two Dutchmen – who had been in this place of suffering and oppression. There, they had the opportunity to greet the director of the Dachau memorial, Dr Gabriele Hammermann.
Afterward, the participants experienced a touching moment of common prayer at ‘Barracks 26’ (where most of the Carmelite prisoners lived), and then celebrated the Eucharist in the chapel of our Discalced Carmelite Sisters, who hosted this large group of young Carmelites with joy and fraternity. On behalf of the Preparatory Commission, Benny Phang Khong Wing, O.Carm., General Councillor for Formation, thanked the sisters for their presence in the camp, and for their incisive witness.
The Prior General concluded the celebration asking that ‘the witness of Blessed Titus Brandsma and Blessed Hilary Januszewski would help the Carmelites of the twenty-first century to be men and women of reconciliation and signs of God’s love for every human being’.
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