Redemptorist Student from Matadi Vice-Province volunteers at the Kirchhellen Youth Monastery

On 2 May 2024, Br Sébastien Ndombasi, a student from the Vice-Province of Matadi, arrived in the Province of St Clement. After completing his philosophy studies in Kinshasa, he interrupted his studies to spend a year abroad at the Kirchhellen Youth Monastery in Germany at the request of the Vice-Provincial Fr Jean-Robert Diyabanza. In view of the big difficulties he had in obtaining a Schengen visa, everyone is delighted that he is finally with us.

Volunteer at Youth Monastery

Sébastien lives and works at the Kirchhellen Youth Monastery as part of a voluntary service program similar to the RVM (Redemptorist Volunteer Ministries) but in the opposite direction. At RVM, young people from Germany do a year’s service abroad, while in the Federal Volunteer Service (BFD), young people from abroad are invited to live and work in Germany for a year.

Four young people from Peru, Indonesia, Belgium, and Vietnam are currently living and working at the Kirchhellen Youth Monastery. During the year, they live, work, and celebrate in the house community with the Redemptorists, who form an international community composed of four German Redemptorists, three from the Province of Indonesia, and the youth monastery staff.

Getting familiar with the German culture

Firstly, there is time to settle in and learn the “Spielregeln”, the cultural rules of our society. Sufficient knowledge of the German language is ensured (we also guarantee that German language skills are sufficiently supported).

The work at the youth monastery ranges from day-to-day work in and around the house to leisure and holiday activities for children, cultural and media education projects for young people, music and religious education programs and pastoral activities for young and older people.

The year allows one to learn a little about the country and its people—society, politics, economy, religion, church, and faith—in this part of Europe.

Meeting new people and making friends

The welcome service, for example, in which those coming to join the worship services are greeted individually, creates friendly encounters. In this way, everyone participates in internationality, experiences multiculturalism, and also lives with multi-religiousness.

Four years ago, a student from the province of Indonesia did a year of voluntary service at the Kirchhellen Youth Monastery before completing his studies. Sébastien will also continue his theological studies at the study centre of the Matadi Vice-Province after his BFD year at the Kirchhellen Youth Monastery.

Celebrating together

The Matadi Vice-Province, Congo Mission of the Province of St. Clement, can celebrate ‘125 years of the Matadi Vice-Province’ on 2 June 2024. We are delighted that Br Sébastien Ndombasi could come at the beginning of May and that we can now celebrate the jubilee with him, i.e. with a confrere from our Vice-Province. There is no doubt that life in such a colourful community can be challenging, but above all, it is a joy.

Welcoming Community of Kirchhellen

Eight Redemptorists currently live and work in the Kirchhellen Youth Monastery (Jugend-Kloster Kirchhellen) in the Province of St Clement with six partners in mission (PIM) and currently five young volunteers. It is an international community with people from Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, Congo, Peru and Vietnam. For the young adults, who each spend a year volunteering, it is a time of orientation. They work together with the Redemptorists and partners (PiM) in the youth-pastoral. Young people from all over the world are always welcome to live in the community of the youth monastery Kirchhellen.

Hildegard Kückelmann

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