Blessed Titus Brandsma (1881-1942) was an energetic Dutch Carmelite friar with interests in many areas. His main job was as a university professor (his speciality was in the history of mysticism), but he was also a newspaper editor and author, advisor to the Dutch Catholic journalists’ association, founder of a secondary school, advisor to the bishops’ education office, champion of the Frisian language, and much else besides.
After the German invasion of Holland, he revived in himself the prophetic dimension of the Carmelite tradition, insisting that Dutch Catholic newspapers must refuse to carry racist and antisemitic Nazi propaganda. He was soon arrested. In solitary confinement, he wrote of his sense of being near the Lord, and wrote a much-quoted poem which ends: “Stay with me Jesus, my delight, Your presence near makes all things right.” He was killed in Dachau concentration camp on 26 July 1942. His feast is celebrated on 27 July.
God, always with us, grant that we may be given the power to see you in every living thing. May we relace friction with love, unrest with serenity, boasting and pride with humility, cowardice with courage, cheating with honesty and doubt with faith. May Blessed Titus Brandsma remind us how precious is human life and every moment you give us to live.
Brandsma House is a very proud supporter of Good Shepherd (formerly Good Shepherd Youth & Family Services) since 2008. We support Good Shepherd because of the values they espouse in caring for those who live in difficult circumstances, particularly women and children – often homeless, and this is a valuable life lesson for our boys. We hope to encourage a spirit of service among the Brandsma boys by allowing them to realise how they can be so helpful to others. It is so important that our support is financial but just as importantly, to raise awareness. Our fundraising continues throughout the year with a special focus on Brandsma Feast day with many families generously donating much needed funds. On our Feast day we also try to have a representative from Good Shepherd in attendance to explain their work to the boys. The proceeds of the Giant House Charity raffle also go towards assisting Good Shepherd – Brandsma families have always been very supportive as buyers and sellers of tickets. Aside from fundraising within the house, in 2013 we instigated the Brandsma Winter Sleep Out to foster this awareness – something the Senior students and staff have embraced. We would love to expose our boys to more practical interactions with Good Shepherd, however the sensitive nature of their work and privacy issues often prevent this – but our assistance is very highly valued by Good Shepherd.
“Good Shepherd has been supporting people, especially women and girls, battling poverty and disadvantage for 150 years in Australia. We are part of a network that reaches right across the country, helping women and girls to be safe, resilient and self-sufficient. We believe everyone deserves an equal place in the world and a quality of life that makes participation in the community possible. That’s why we’re committed to improving the lives of women and girls.”