Today I witnessed something fairly unique, certainly for a Catholic in the north of the Netherlands: the investiture of new members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, which took place at the cathedral of Sts. Joseph and Martin in Groningen. The choice of location was no doubt influenced by Bishop Gerard de Korte’s membership of the order.

The investiture and Mass took well over two hours. Concelebrating the Mass were Bishop Antoon Hurkmans, the Grand Prior of the Order in the Netherlands, Bishop Gerard de Korte, the ordinary of the host diocese, Bishop Ad van Luyn, emeritus of Rotterdam, and Archbishop André Dupuy, our new Nuncio. Among the new members of the Order were a handful of priests, including Father Antoine Bodar and Father Ad van der Helm, the dean of The Hague.

The whole affair also turned out to be a nice opportunity for networking, as I met photographer Ramon Mangold and, with two friends, had an animated talk with Fr. Michel Remery.

Some photographic impressions of Catholic nobility:

The flag of the Order on the cathedral

Knights, ladies and members of the Order on their way to the cathedral

Acolytes, priests and bishops, ready to join the members of the Order as they enter the cathedral

Several well-known faces among the candidate members: Fathers Antoine Bodar, Ad van der Helm and Tjeerd Visser, among others

Bishops Ad van Luyn and Gerard de Korte

Bishop Hurkmans gives the homily

Bishop van Luyn and several priests

A new knight receives his mantle

Concelebrating Bishops Van Luyn, de Korte and Hurkmans, with Archbishop Dupuy at right

Attending in choir, Cardinal Simonis during the procession out of the cathedral

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