Brothers of Tilburg

The Brothers of Tilburg

Even though they are located in many places in The Netherlands and elsewhere in the world, they are still popularly known as the ‘Brothers of Tilburg.’ They live in a congregation, which is a kind of association the members of which live by a number of rules and whose lives are aimed at increasingly becoming a more ‘merciful brother,’ according to the example of Jesus Christ.  

Congregation with communities
The congregation is comprised of smaller entities called communities. The official name is ‘Brothers of Our Lady, Mother of Mercy.’ The Pope has recognised the congregation under the Latin name ‘Congregatio Fratrum Beatae Mariae Virginis Matris Misericordiae,’ which is often abbreviated as ‘CMM.’ The brothers occupy an independent position within the Roman Catholic Church, a position which is often referred to as ‘in solidarity and allegiance.’

Motherhouse in Tilburg
The popular name ‘Brothers of Tilburg’ refers to the city in which the congregation was founded in 1844, the city in which the motherhouse is still situated. To this day, the congregation is mostly active in the fields of education and health care. Today, it has about 300 members in eight countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya, Namibia, East-Timor, Surinam. Recently the congregation in the United States (California) was closed.

Teachers and educators
When the Brothers of Tilburg went to Curacao in 1886, the first country outside Europe, they certainly had the idea to go on a 'Mission', although the brothers worked primarily in education. Within their work of teaching they contributed to the Christianization. After their daily work in schools they withdrew into their homes.
They had little or no contact with people in their home situation, just as they didn´t have that in the Netherlands. The pastoral work was in the hands of others religious workers. Dominicans worked especially in the Antilles, in Suriname there were especially Redemptorists.

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