In this confidence and strengthened by the sacrament of the sick, our beloved fellow sister, sister, godmother and aunt has passed away.
Farewell of Sr. Dorothea Mooijekind
*30 June 1930 † 24 December 2020
Aerdenhout, Klooster Alverna December 30, 2020
On entering the chapel
Sr. Dorothea, welcome back to this house, to this room that is our holy home today. I bless you in the name of the Triune God, in whom you are now sheltered: in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Words of Welcoming
On this second last day of the year we have been summoned here to say goodbye in gratitude to Sr Dorothea our Aunt and Godmother, who passed away quietly last Thursday in Nijmegen. We cordially welcome the sisters and co-inhabitants, present here and through zoom. Welome associates, sister Ria, the small representation of the nephews and nieces Carla, Peter, Marja, Nando and the friends Frank and Lamy with their son Aaldrik, for whom Sr. Dorothea was like a grandmother. Already when Aaldrik was very young, Sr Dorothea was taking care of him. And that made that you had a lot of fun together. Sr Dorothea was always very proud of you Aaldrik. And she was always very happy when she saw you or had you on the phone. Many others will be with us during this hour, as they were not allowed to come because of corona caution. It is not pleasant to have to send friends and co-workers a ''not possible".
We will hear songs and scripture readings which were mostly chosen by herself. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to sing together. Together we will commemorate Sr. Dorothea, thank her and hand her over to the Creator from whom all life comes and returns.
But first we want to kindle light around her. Because we trust that Sr. Dorothea now lives in the light of God. Marja and Peter, Sr Renate, Sr Auxiline, may I invite you?
Pergamano is the name for a bunch of techniques you can use to make cards and things out of parchment paper. Pergamano became a great hobby of Sr. Dorothea. She took several courses in it, obtained the official diplomas and then taught pergamano herself. Relief making, chiselling, punching, threshing, padding, stenciling and then just cutting and covering. It is a very work intense activity. What Sr Dorothea created were actually fine artworks.
This is how she also shaped her life. With perseverance, with discipline, an eye for details and above all in the way she felt comfortable with. Thus the apartment of Sr Dorothea on the Meijerslaan became her convent, as she told several times. Here she lived her own religious daily rhythm. In her bedroom she had made a small altar around her favorite image of Jesus: the shroud of Turin. A card that Sr Dorothea had of this, shows a man who suffered - to whom everything was done that was done to Jesus in his last days and hours of life. The story tells that this is the face of Christ. Presumably because Christ can be recognized in the face of every human being who suffers. After all, Christ is our companion in suffering and beyond death.
The fact that someone is with us in our loneliness and our suffering is a great consolation. To anyone who is in quarantine awaiting a test result you would wish such a companion. And especially for those who are in isolation because of contamination, we pray that someone will be with them. As we also know that such a person was there for Sr. Dorothea in her last days. In the person of a nurse, a caregiver, a sister and if you can't be close to them, then by praying or by lighting a candle. In all these signs, Sr. Dorothea will have experienced the closeness of Christ, as close as when she stood in front of that image of the shroud: "eye to eye, face to face. It is He who knows the tears of the eyes and who says 'it will be all right, everything will be new, heaven and earth'. These words from the book of Revelations are perhaps the most beautiful words of consolation ever written. That our tears will be wiped gives courage to persevere.
The monastery cell on the Meijerslaan was preceded by a history. In her life Sr. Dorothea has experienced great changes. Not in her faith in God, but in her search for the way of life that was good for her. There was some tension between her own willpower and the obedience that comes along with vows. That is why her choice - after returning from Zeeland - to live independently was perhaps the right one. From the Meijerslaan she would walk to Alverna every other week on Sunday to be with her sisters.
Actually it is not true that the telephone book of Heemstede mentions only 2 monasteries (one of Providence and one of the Augustines). Because as Sr Dorothea describes her appartment there are probably many monasteries in Aerdenhout, in Nijmegen and everywhere. A small memorial corner, a place where a candle burns or an image that appeals to the person living there. Is that what Jesus meant when he said that there are many rooms in his Father's house? Or could it be even more generous? Because every human being is a place of God. In every human being Christ wants to become manifest, just as we celebrated at Christmas: even if Christ was born a thousand times in Bethlehem and not in my heart, it doesn't work (Angelus Silesius). So there are many places where people can feel at home with God. That doesn't even depend on four walls and a roof and a door. After all, we ourselves are the place where God desires to dwell. So many people so many rooms to place an altar, to mumble a prayer in your inner room. Or to simply live in His name.
Based on this inner conviction, Sr Dorothea first lived in Zeeland, then in Heemstede, where she lived her life with great care for others. That remained the thread throughout her life. The people from the parishes where she was active, her babysitter child, her family in Nijmegen: Sr Dorothea was there for those in need. She had a big socially engaged heart. She loved people, she loved to cuddle those who were dear to her. In this way she gave hands and feet to her vocation. In this way her life became a work of art, with beautifully cut edges, punched depths, refined embroidery, and all that on a foundation of love and trust. With that same love, we entrust her to her Creator, to her great love Jesus Christ, who is the Alpha and the Omega, who embraces us in eternity. Amen