Saint Damien Project Committee
The Community of Saint Damien is an intentional community for students to come together in faith, worship, and the pursuit of knowledge situated in one wing of the historic, recently renovated building called the Amerikaans College.
The ACAA Damien Project Committee has been established to collaborate with and support the ongoing efforts of the Saint Damien Community at the Amerikaans College. The members of the committee are:
Reverend Raymond Collins
Doctor John (Jack) Dick
Reverend Bob Flannery
Reverend Reimund Bieringer
Reverend Joe Marcoux
Letter from Ray Collins
December 15, 2016
Dear fellow alumnus,
On behalf of the ACAA-CUL's Damien Project Committee, Jack Dick, Bob Flannery, Reimund Bieringer, Joe Marcoux, and myself as chair. I appealed to you two years ago for monetary support of our alumni Damien Scholarship Fund. Let me take this opportunity to again say thanks to those who contributed.
Movement has been slow but I am happy to be able to share with you the good news that the committee has voted to aware Fr. Albert Marcello, a young priest of the diocese of Providence, a grant of $2000. as he begins his doctoral program in Canon Law at our beloved Alma Mater. His letter of thanks, addressed to me, will be posted on our alumni association's web site. With this first grant, we move forward in promoting the Damien Project.
With the appeal of 2014, I intended to begin an annual appeal associated with the celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Changes in Leuven and in our association, led to a skipping of the appeal last year. With the support of Chris Fusco, president of the ACAA, I was ready to resume the annual appeal this year. We decided, however, that the legacy of the American College of Louvain would best be preserved were we this year to support the American College Heritage Project.
The Heritage Project committee includes our own Jack Dick, Rebekka Jonkers, the current manager of the College, along with historians from the KULeuven. The aim of the project is to preserve and display the history of the college as a reminder of our common heritage to the college's 170 residents, including the members of the Damien Community, as well as the many tourists and visitors who pass by on a daily basis.
Phase One is the development of an exhibition of photos, documents, and other artifacts that will be on permanent display for all to see. A professional design company has been engaged to oversee this part of the project. It is hoped that it will be up and running by the spring of 2017 as we celebrate the 160th anniversary of the foundation of our beloved college and anticipate the alumni association's meeting in Leuven during the summer of2107. All told, the project needs another $20,000 but we need additional funds for the completion of Phase One.
Please consider the Heritage Project as a worthy recipient of your Christmas generosity and send a tax-deductible donation to the ACAA-CUL. Write "American College Heritage Project" in the space reserved for a notation and send the check on its way to Rev. William Wegher, Treasurer ACAA-CUL, St. Mary's Church, 100 Dexter Pickney Road, Pickney, MI 48169-9101. I'll send you a note of thanks soon after I hang the new calendar.
Thanks ever so much for your continued support of the American College and its legacy. And have a Blessed Christmas and a wonderful and grace-filled New Year.
(Raymond F. Collins, AC, '59)
“The programme is named after Saint Damien of Molokai, because he personifies the strong ties between Leuven and the United States,” says Lieven Boeve, former dean of the faculty of theology and religious studies. Father Damien, the Flemish priest Jozef De Veuster, is venerated as a saint because of his care for people with leprosy on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. In the US Capitol, each state has a statue representing a famous resident, and Hawaii chose Father Damien. He is buried at the Saint Antonius church in Leuven, close to the American College.