A plea for beer

From a friend on Facebook I get the request to write about beer.

Not a problem, of course. The beer in question is called ‘La Trappe Isid’or’ and is brewed by the trappist monks at Koningshoeven Abbey on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the establishment of the abbey’s brewery.

Abbot Bernardus writes about the beer and its purpose in his blog, and I translate.

In his rule, St. Benedict emphasises that the abbot should always listen to the advice of his brothers. “Do everything in good counsel, and you will not regret it later” is the good advice that he gives the abbot. Via this weblog I would like to extend the circle of brothers and invite you to give me good counsel.

For our community, 2009 was the year of the establishment of a new monastery in Uganda and the 125th anniversary of beer brewery ‘De Koningshoeven’. Especially and exclusively for this anniversary we brewed ‘La Trappe Isid’or’, named for our first brewer, Brother Isidoor Laaber. It was decided that the revenue of the beer would be spent on the building of the monastery of our daughter community in Uganda. Ethnic struggles forced the brothers out of their abbey in Kenya and they are now still temporarily housed in Uganda. The profits of Isid’or was a nice 100,000 euros! At the moment, the last bottles are taken out of our warehouse. The end of the jubilee year is the end of the jubilee beer.
But the market now calls for keeping the Isid’or in our assortment. The brewery’s directors have asked me to seriously consider this. The decision is difficult, because we already have a fair number of beers (Blond, Dubbel, Tripel, Quadrupel, Witte Trappist and Bockbier). Another reason not to do it is that we have said that this beer would only be available during the jubilee year. What to do now? In the meantime I have listened to my brothers and they sent me back to the market. How great is the demand from the market to keep Isid’or?
And that’s the reason of this question to you, the readers of this weblog. Should Isid’or stay on the market? Yes, No, Yes, but replacing another beer. You have two weeks to responds via the links below, with a motivation if possible. I will act according to Chapter 3 of the Rule: “While listening to the brothers’ advice, he considers the case himself and does what he considers most useful.”

Via the link to the abbot’s weblog above you’ll find the option to vote for a good beer with a good purpose

An introduction of sorts

A new blog? No, rather an old one in a new place. I’ve been blogging for a number of years now and did it all that time at Livejournal. And with much enjoyment, I might add. But over the course of time, especially in the last months, my blogging habits have been changing; where originally I treated my blog as a diary documenting the things that happened in my life, lately I have been moving more towards a more informative blog, not dissimilar to the efforts of such noted blogging priests as Father Z and Father Tim. Not that I pretend to be as knowledgeable or eloquent as either of them (nor as ordained), their topics of choice are an example to me.

Added to that is the growing desire on my part to contribute in a meaningful way to the development of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands. It is a small Church, not very visible in society, and with its problems, but not without signs of hope – orthodox priests, congregations eager to grow in their faith, young people searching for a direction in their lives and finding it in the Church. But the parishes, especially in my diocese, are islands. They function on their own and the connection to the neighbouring parishes, the diocese and the world Church is not always alive among the faithful.

What can one lay person do, let alone one who hasn’t been Catholic for more than three years? Well, I can write and translate. Media coverage of Church issues, letters from the Dutch bishops, good homilies, but also events and documents from the world Church – all these are food for my blog, with the ultimate twofold goal of spreading the word, so to speak, of the Dutch Church among the many who don’t read Dutch, and putting the good and important elements of our beautiful faith – liturgy, prayer, theology – in the spotlight.

Here, I hope, I can present a blog that looks professional (at least in its layout) and which I can fully use as a basis for some other online activities. What those may be is something the future will learn, though.

PS: I have imported the blog entries from the past year into this new account. As a result, links in old posts may not always work and images may not be displayed completely (because they were sized to fit the layout of my Livejournal). Some posts are also protected with a password. These are posts that I don’t wish to be publicly accessible. You may always request the password from me in a comment or message.