In Breda, a bishop’s last letter to the faithful

Less than a month from now, on 2 July, Bishop Hans van den Hende will be installed as the fifth bishop of Rotterdam. But until that day (in fact, until a new bishop arrives in Breda) he continues to be the chief shepherd for the faithful in the southwestern diocese and as such, he has written what may be his last letter to the parishioners and clergy of Breda.

In it, he obviously refers to his appointment to Rotterdam, but also offers a basic catechesis on Pentecost, linking it to Easter and encouraging the faithful to join the Blessed Virgin, patron saint of the diocese, in praying for the power of the Holy Spirit.

Read the letter in English here.

Later this month, on 18 June, Bishop Ad van Luyn, emeritus of Rotterdam, will bid his farewells to his diocese with a Mass and reception at the cathedral of Sts. Lawrence and Elisabeth and the faculty building of the Erasmus Medical Centre.

The prayer card mentioned in the bishop’s letter may be downloaded here. It contains four verses from the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, a passage from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: “God’s Spirit […] will make these same sentiments of justice and solidarity, which reside in the Lord’s heart, take root in you (n. 25)”, followed by a brief explanatory note: “The social teachings of the Church and our diaconate and social actions concern a “society of love” based on the Lord’s commandment of love: “This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you” (Jn. 15:12).”