The 400 years of the Brothers of St John of God in Bavaria
“Your mission lives on”
On 11 November, the Brothers of the Bavarian Province celebrated the closure of the 400th Jubilee Year of the Brothers of St John of God in Bavaria with 200 guests, including Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Bishop Bertram Meier of Augsburg, the Prior General Brother Jesús Etayo, who had travelled from Rome for the occasion, and the Premier of Bavaria, Markus Söder. Exactly 400 years ago, the Duke Wolfgang Wilhelm had signed the founding act of the St Wolfgang Hospital, the Order's first centre in Bavaria.
Cardinal Marx: what it means to be a Christian
In his homily during the Solemn Eucharist, Cardinal Marx said that the Gospel story of the Good Samaritan teaches the importance of not looking at ourselves, but rather looking at others. As Pope Francis says, the Church must go out to the peripheries. 'What counts is love,' he said.
St John of God and his successors, the Brothers of St John of God, understood this. A society is only a good society imsofar as it includes the sick, the old, the weak and the suffering. Cardinal Marx thanked the Brothers of St John of God and their co-workers for their commitment. At the same time he spurred them on: "Your mission lives on! This is important because your mission is 'a sign of encouragement and hope also for future generations'".
The Premier praised the Order for its dedication
The ceremony following Mass in the Neuburg Municipal Theatre was dominated by the Jubilee anniversary motto 'HOSPITALITY CREATES FUTURE'.
During the ceremony, the Bavarian Premier, Markus Söder, described the Order of St John of God as a solid and reliable component part of Bavaria's healthcare and social landscape. He thanked the Order for its commitment to Christian hospitality by the side of the sick, the poor and the needy.
The Bavarian Province: a 'leader' in Europe
Asked whether the Bavarian Province of the Order held a privileged place in his heart, the Prior General, Brother Jesús Etayo, initially responded diplomatically, stating that there were a total of 17 Provinces in the Order which naturally work together synergistically at a regional level. In this sense, the Bavarian Province was a "leader in Europe", the Prior General admitted.
Afterwards, some of the employees and guests of the Province's centres presented practical examples of the life and work of the Brothers in Bavaria's hospitals and institutions for people with disabilities today.