“DOMUSDELA adds something valuable to Eindhoven”

Although the departure from the inner city was hard, the Augustines are very content with the new destination of the place they love so much. DELA, together with DOMUSDELA aims for the same goals as the fathers have been aiming for the past decades. "The past won't be closed of but will continue in a new and different way. That is very valuable." According to father Louis Mulder who was involved with the project from the beginning.

Taking a step back

The Augustines are convinced that a place of reflection and encounters is an important addition to Eindhoven, the thriving city of technology. "No matter how fascinating this development is, technology is only a small part of mankind. We also feel the need to take a step back once in a while. To be at ease and reflect about why we are here in this world - and very concretely here in Eindhoven. That is essential. At my pastoral work I have learned that, no matter how interesting matters such as technological growth and profit are, if people get sick and see death coming their way, those kind of matters are suddenly not that important anymore."

In a contemporary way

Father Mulder emphasizes that people are social creatures who have a need for each other and encounters. "DOMUSDELA is a place, in the middle of the city, that offers all kinds of possibilities for the things people need the most. It is a very suitable location for paying attention, in the most diverse ways, to questions of meaning. This closely connects with the work what we have done here in a contemporary way.

Gift

The Augustines are very grateful that their ideas will live on despite the slow decay of the Augustine order in The Netherlands. "At first we were sad to leave this place. Especially because we felt the need to deepen our lives and wanted to have meaning in it. Unfortunately we are no longer able to continue our work. We have become too old and no new members are joining." To still have some influence over the future of 'their' building, the fathers realized that they should not wait too long with the sale of their possessions. The interest DELA had for their building came as a gift. "DELA was immediately interested in our wishes of resembling our work in the future building. The township of Eindhoven and the province of Noord-Brabant were both willing to brainstorm with us." That definitely made the departure a whole lot easier. Also because the fathers got the opportunity to all stay and move together to a new and comfortable place. "No matter how important buildings are, the eventual goal was that we could all stay together."

Reflection

Louis Mulder often took a peak at the construction site. With a blue construction helmet on his head, he wandered around to see how the rooms, that were once only accessible by the Augustines for dozens of years, got a whole new appearance. Louis and the fathers especially loved the opening of the buildings for the city. "It is a beautiful, physical reflection of the way we try to live. We really like that."

Privilege

There is another way in which the fathers will remain present at DOMUSDELA. The graveyard in the courtyard will remain. "That place is dear to us and many Augustines are buried there. Right now, 170 Augustines remain there. At the moment, there are only thirteen of us left and we made an agreement that we will be buried there as well. When the last Augustine of the Netherlands is buried there, the grave will be left intact for ten to fifteen years before it will be removed. DELA will take care of the graves until then. It gives us a good feeling that we will remain present under the ground. It is a privilege that we were allowed to work and live in such a unique place and are able to rest there in the end. We are grateful for these opportunities."

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