Page 14 - March On! God will Provide by Brother Aubert
P. 14

Xll                  FOREWORD
       the  one  major  Superior  living  outside  the  War  Zone,
        Brother  Isidore  had  to  assume  many  responsibilities  in
        the  general  government.  He  carried  the  future  of  the
       Xaverian  Brothers  on his  shoulders  and  he  knew  it.
          Brother Isidore had put aside, temporarily he thought,
       his delving  into the  life-story  of  Theodore  Ryken.  Usu­
       ally  he  could  "make"  time,  but  the  work  piled  up.  At
       the General  Chapter after World War  I,  he was  one  of
        those chosen to rewrite the Constitution of the Xaverian
        Brothers so that it would be in accord with the new Code
        of Canon Law.  Practically all the work involved in this
        revision was wished off on the chairman, Brother Isidore.
        Finally  with  his  advancing  years-he  died  in  1935  in
        his eighties-he  realized  that he  would never write  that
        biography  but  he  consoled  himself  with  the  hope  that
        some day someone would do what he had been forced to
        leave  undone.
         And  although  Brother  Isidore  perhaps  never  heard
        about  it,  someone was  actually  at  work.  Brother  Ferdi­
        nand de Muynck of the Belgian Province,  at the request
        of  Brother  Paul,  the  Superior  General,  was  writing  his
        recollections  of  the  Founder  and  the  early  days  of  the
        Congregation.  This  hardy  old  warrior  began  on  or
        about  Dec.  9,  1928,  which  was  his  eighty-first  birthday
        and  kept  at  it  steadily  until  he  had  produced  a  45,000
        word manuscript, partly in Flemish and mostly in French.
        Those  officially  assigned  to  read  Brother  Ferdinand's
        story of the Founder and the early days,  shrugged  it off
        as  "his  story"  rather  than  "history."  No  one  thought
        enough of it to provide an English  translation,  and  that
        was  unfortunate  because  Brother  Isidore  would  have
        drooled over every word of it.
          Few  Xaverians outside  the  Belgian  Province  knew  of
        the reminiscences of Brother Ferdinand, so much so that
        when  the  editors  of  an  Encyclopedia  of  the  Missions-
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