Sunday, April 17, 2016


KUNST IN DE TROOST is a yearly activity of the Zusters Karmelietessen Den Troost. 

The Carmelite Monastery of Our Lady of Consolation (Onze-Lieve-Vrouw ten Troost) is the oldest existing Carmelite Monastery of Nuns in the world is in 2 Trooststraat, Vilvoorde, Belgium and there I met 6 beautiful Filipina Carmelite sisters (zusters in BE)!
The adjoining basilica is also the oldest in Western Europe.
This day, April 24, 2015, the Carmelite sisters open their doors to the public in the form of a Public Art Exhibit by artists from Belgium and displayed in their beautiful Garden of Carmel. 

Part of the proceeds will help support the renovation of the Basilique Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Ten Troost. (Our Lady of the Consolation) simply known as Troostkerk.

Interestingly, I came at the right time of the year! 

This one day, the zusters (sisters) come out of their cloisters to join the OPENING EVENT starting at 7:30 pm and attended by the City Mayor and friends! 

Palm Beer s one of the major sponsors for the Art Exhibit
So for the first time, the Karmel sisters had their "groupies" while we go around the garden to view the artworks.

I enjoyed the activity so much that we reached until evening....

With Mayor Hans Bonte of Vilvoorde, Belgium 

Here are the sisters inside the Art Exhibit.

By the way, the Carmelite community in Vilvoorde is the oldest living Carmelite community in the world spanning about 400 years.

But most interesting is that the six younger sisters are Filipinas as shared by Sr. Dilla of the Zamboanga Carmelite community. She told me to look for Sr. Carmela Omandam and Sr. Luisa. They join the four elderly Belgian sisters in this monastery. 

The basilique is already beautiful at this time, with the although, there are still some restorations to be done with some of the art and church organ. One side of the basilique shows the Gothic architecture and part shows baroque architecture.
From Wikipedia" = "Owing to its important role as a pilgrimage destination, the Carmel has a particular significance to the city of Vilvoorde. 
The Troostkermis or annual fair and holiday of the city of Vilvoorde is still celebrated today, starting on the third Sunday after Easter. 

The church was elevated to the status of basilica, on 7 May 2006, and since that date pilgrims have begun visiting from other Belgian provinces."

I felt so blessed during my trip to Belgium as I was able to visit the sisters three times and even joined them in their prayers.

I thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity for such a blessed encounter! We had hearty conversations and prayers with these beautiful zusters (sisters) which lightened my mind and my heart!

I definitely can say this is one of my happiest trips!!!