“I am very grateful for everything this place has brought me in my life.”

"I like how it turned out," says Peter de Wind when we walk from the former Green room, through 'De Knoop' towards the church. Peter (1947) was born and raised around the corner of the 'Paterskerk', Tramstraat 46. His parents moved to Eindhoven from Amsterdam in 1937. In 1966, Peter de Wind moved to Amsterdam, but ten years later he returned to his parental home in Eindhoven with his wife. It was expected that he would fall in the footsteps of an uncle in Amsterdam and that he would become the new director of a private bank. After having been in the service, and working for a short time at the bank, he chose to study philosophy. He worked as a teacher of social studies, philology of life and philosophy at the Augustinianum for thirty years.

Singing in 'De Paterskerk'

"My first memory is that I went to church with my mother. I was about four years old. My father did not come with us, because he was Baptized. We were seated, from the altar's point of view, on the righthand side at number ten. That was a set place. You paid for that spot. Miss Jet came during the service and collected the money. It is a vague memory. From the moment I became an altar boy my memories are a lot clearer. I was allowed to join the choir and that meant singing lessons. After two years you had to take an exam. A composer and an organist judged your singing qualities. The bar was set high, and you had to sing from paper. If you couldn't do this you had to leave. I passed the exam and that was a nice experience. After that I sang along with all mass celebrations as a singer. On Saturday we learned Italian songs (from Vacai) and got interpretation classes. I kept singing my entire life."

In the middle of society

There are several ways in which the fathers show their connection to society: they were the first to open up their theological education for those who wanted to learn. They often shared their knowledge in the renowned 'Wijsgerige King' in Eindhoven. Besides that they received thousands of Eindhovenaren in the southern wing of Mariënhage in the late nineties, where they could come and drink a cup of coffee, attend a seminar or reading, play a game or make meditative drawings. "They are very hospitable, everyone is welcome."

Kind confessors

Apart from that, the Catholic Eindhovenaren know the Augustines from their colorful church services in the 'Paterskerk'. They drew a large audience, because the fathers had a well-kept liturgy with a strong musical composition. Furthermore, they were known for being kind confessors, with a lot of room for forgiveness. That is why the church developed itself to a real church of confessions.

A heart for each other

According to Ingrid van Neer-Bruggink, with the departure of the Augustines from the former monastery Mariënhage a certain piece of Catholic-social color disappeared - although they were already less visible the last few years due to their age and their declining numbers. "They are, however, realistic and realize that a day would come when they had to leave their monastery in the city centre. They hoped the new owner of the building would be sensitive to their spirituality so that, one way or another, different ways of what they represent would remain visible. That is where DELA comes in and makes for a good new owner. The Augustine values such as meeting each other, offering space and providing hospitality are reflected in the values of DELA. The fathers appreciate this, in a respectful way an old building is transformed to a new centre of meeting and reflection, with a heart for each other."

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