Thanksgiving for the Pope – special Masses in the Netherlands and Flanders

benedictMarking the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI, which becomes effective in the evening of 28 February, all Dutch and Flemish dioceses will be offering a thanksgiving Mass for his pontificate. With the exception of Haarlem-Amsterdam and Antwerp, all will do so on the day of abdication itself.

The two metropolitan archdioceses, Utrecht and Mechelen-Brussels, will feature the most extensive celebrations. In Utrecht, a Mass will be offered at 12:30 at St. Catherine’s cathedral, which will be followed by Holy Hour, a sung Rosary, Vespers and Benediction at 6. Whether Cardinal Eijk will attend this day is unclear. Mechelen-Brussels will offer no less than three Masses, all at 8pm: In Brussels by Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard and auxiliary Bishop Jean Kockerols, in Louvain (St. Peter’s) by auxiliary Bishop Leon Lemmens, and in Waver (St. John the Baptist) by auxiliary Bishop Jean-Luc Hudsyn.

The other thanksgiving Masses will take place at 6pm in Bruges (by Bishop Jozef De Kesel), at 7pm in Groningen (Bishop Gerard de Korte), Breda (Bishop Jan Liesen) and Roermond (Bishop Frans Wiertz), and at 8pm in Ghent (Bishop Luc Van Looy) and Hasselt (Bishop Patrick Hoogmartens). All Masses will be at the respective cathedrals of the dioceses, except in Breda, where the Mass will be offered at the chapel of the Bovendonk seminary in Hoeven, and Hasselt, where the Basilica of Our Lady will host the Mass

The next day, 1 March, auxiliary Bishop Jan Hendriks will offer a Mass at 7:30pm, and on 3 March, Antwerp’s Bishop Johan Bonny will offer one at 5pm.

In addition to these Masses, parishes, communities and other societies may of course also mark the abdication with Masses or prayer services.

Back from Bootcamp

I am back from a week (which seemed to go by far too quickly, as all such things do) at the Credimus Bootcamp. I enjoyed the hospitality of Father David van Dijk, and the company of good, intelligent and faithful friends. Many topics were discussed, both in interactive workshops and in lectures, and some may find their way into this blog in due time. But for now I will make do with a selection of photos I took over the course of the week.

My breviary lies ready for Lauds.
Decoration on the ceiling where the nave crosses the transept
Shadowplay in the north transept of the church
Our first guest speaker was Father Marc Heemels. He spoke about the Benedictine monastery of Le Barroux in France
Another workshop was about Gregorian music and its history. Here, diocesan hermit Brother Hugo takes a look at some examples of medieval music notation
Later, Brother Hugo taught us, or tried to teach us, the very basics of Gregorian singing
We had Masses in both forms of the Latin rite. Here Father Harry van der Vegt, cathedral administrator in Utrecht, offers Mass in the Extraordinary Form
Fr. David van Dijk was our host. Here he delivers the homily during the week's first Mass (in the Ordinary Form)
The thurible is lit, ready to incense the Blessed Sacrament
A nightly returning ritual: at the end of an hour of Adoration and Compline, Fr. David gives Benediction
A day trip on Wednesday included a viewing of many religious artifacts, including this medieval manuscript of Gregorian music
A vibrant stained glass window in the church of the Immaculate Conception in Oss, another stop on our trip
The interior of the church of St. James the Greater in the town of Zeeland
A barbecue on the penultimate night, with the weather cooperating exquisitely.
One of Fr. David's two cats says hello