Welcome to the experience exhibition ‘Altijd op weg’ (or translated Always on the move).

Welcome to the experience exhibition ‘Altijd op weg’ (or translated Always on the move).

In this exhibition we will introduce you to the timeless spirituality and the range of thought of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. We shine a light on the life and work of the Sisters, who have lived in Munsterbilzen and far beyond in the service of God and mankind over the past centuries. Their positive impact on society and on the lives of many can still be felt today.

In the first part of the exhibition you will discover the rich history of the creation of the Order of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. The mission of the founder Jean-Pierre Médaille was central to this. In the seventeenth century, he wrote one hundred maximes (precepts) which are still like a thread running through the Sisters’ lives today.

At the end of the nineteenth century, a particularly turbulent period in history, Sister Augustine Battut, Superior in Clermont-Ferrand (France), was looking for a way out for her sisters. The profoundly religious Munsterbilzen turned out to offer many possibilities. On 16 September 1895 four sisters got off the train in the small station of Munsterbilzen. They immediately went full steam ahead for their dual mission: to provide primary education for girls and to care for mentally ill women in a psychiatric centre, which they had yet to set up themselves.

A digital model shows how the abbey in Munsterbilzen evolved from the seventh century to the present day and how the sisters further developed the site from their arrival.

Throughout the years the sisters were actively involved in life in Munsterbilzen. Working, praying and living in a close community were the key words. In this experience exhibition you will see that the chapel was a central place for the Sisters and you can admire it three-dimensionally. You will also gain insight into how the Sisters lived during the twentieth century.

A year and a half after the arrival of the Sisters in Munsterbilzen, the Asile Saint-Joseph pour des femmes aliénées was a fact. In 1897 the first patient was admitted. In the following years, care for psychiatric patients received new impulses each time. The exhibition offers a unique insight into the evolution of what is today the St. Joseph Medical Centre. A centre that still retains the initial values of the centuries-old congregation.

The Sisters have also spread their wings even further. You will learn more about them moving into other places in Limburg and beyond. Education, health care and parish work were always their core tasks.

At the end of the exhibition you will stand with two feet back in the present, because you will become acquainted with ‘De Tochtgenoten’, the group of laymen and religious people who today continue to take up the ideas, commitment and spirituality of the Sisters of St Joseph.

Let yourself be guided into the world of the Sisters and discover their positive impact on the lives of the people of Munsterbilzen and far beyond.

We wish you a fascinating visit to our experience exhibition!