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 Avalon charity since 2018. Avalon is run entirely by volunteers and survives solely on donations and grants. Their aim is to meet the unmet needs in society and help people who have slipped through the cracks. Put simply, Avalon assists those who have been forgotten, overlooked and left behind. This includes the homeless, people with mental health and physical problems and disabilities, the elderly, refugees and anyone else who may benefit from their support.
Avalon is a non-profit organisation that was established in 1987 and has over the years become an important element in the support of many people in our community.
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 the Brandsma Sleep Out, where students from Year 10 to 12 sleep outside on the school’s grounds and are sponsored by their families. Student families are also encouraged to donate clothes, blankets, and bags for the homeless.
Students assist with the charity by sorting the clothes and helping in preparation for the distribution of the materials that are delivered to most vulnerable people of society via the Avalon vans.