A look at Bishop-elect Hendriks’ coat of arms

The website of the Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam today published the coat of arms of its new auxiliary bishop, Msgr. Jan Hendriks, who will be consecrated on 10 December.

As is standard for a bishop’s coat of arms, it features the green gallero with six tassels on each side, the cross and the motto chosen by the new bishop. Specific details relevant to Msgr. Hendriks are contained in the shield. In the centre, in red on gold, we find the eagle, symbol of St. John the Evangelist, the patron saint of the new bishop, and the author of the motto underneath the shield. Top left we find a host surrounded by flames; a reference to Msgr. Hendriks’ devotion to the Eucharist, as well as to the Miracle of Amsterdam. It’s also a connection with Msgr. Hendriks’ predecessor, Bishop van Burgsteden, who belongs to the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament.

In the lower right corner, in silver on azure, is the lily representing the Blessed Virgin. It is taken from the coat of arms of Bishop Jos Punt, the ordinary of Haarlem-Amsterdam, and indicates both the new bishop’s devotion to the Mother of God, but also his bond with Bishop Punt.

The other two fields, with the red crosses on white, containing three St. Andrew’s crosses, come from the coat of arms of the diocese.

Details of the consecration have also been released. Due to restoration works in the cathedral basilica of St. Bavo, it will take place in the parish church of Sts. Vitus and Willibrord in Hilversum, starting at 11. After the consecration Mass there will be a reception where guests may congratulate new auxiliary bishop and  extend their best wishes to Bishop van Burgsteden, who is retiring as auxiliary bishop. That reception will last until 15:30. The principal consecrator will be Bishop Punt, while Bishop van Burgsteden and Rotterdam’s Bishop Hans van den Hende will be co-consecrators.

An impression of a unique occasion

The first photos of yesterday’s EF Mass, offered by Raymond Cardinal Burke in the presence of Bishop Jos Punt and Auxiliary Bishop elect Jan Hendriks (respectively to the left and right of the cardinal), are online at the website of the St. Agnes church. The above photo shows the cardinal, bishop, priests, deacons, acolytes and other assistants at the Mass, including the parish priest, a seminarian, and a transitional deacon. The EF Mass is no longer something that involves only a few older Catholics who recall pre-conciliar times.

The presence of a high-ranking prelate like Cardinal Burke, who is the chief of the Holy See’s canonical court system, is of course unique enough to merit some attention, but the fact that the cardinal was the guest of the bishop of Haarlem-Amsterdam, who accompanied him to St. Agnes and who attended the Mass in choir with the newly appointed auxiliary bishop of his diocese, makes it all the more so. No other Dutch bishop has yet attended an EF Mass, despite what Bishop Punt spoke about in his homily: that the old and new form of the Mass must mutually enrich one another.

I am still on the lookout for the text of Bishop Punt’s homily, which I will provide in an English translation if possible.

The Mass itself, as may expected, took well over two hours. The church, despite a miscommunication of the Mass’ starting time, ended up being quite well-filled. Cardinal Burke entered wearing the cappa magna, the long mantle that cardinals and bishops can wear outside liturgical celebrations. Cardinal Burke, then, removed his when he had knelt in prayer for the Blessed Sacrament and th Mass proper began.

The doubly-festive occasion, marking not only the fifth anniversary of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass being offered at St. Agnes, but also the feast day of Saint Willibrord, the patron of the Netherlands, was enlivened by both a mixed and a female choir, singing the Missa Surge Propera by Francisco Guerrero, of which I share the lovely Kyrie below:

Being deprived of good enough eyesight to see much of the goings-on in the sanctuary, I relied on my ears and the texts to follow along, and although sometimes I was a bit at a loss (not least since my booklet missed a few pages!), I generally knew where we were and what we were doing. And that’s always a plus. All in all, the Mass was a very dignified celebration, and one I am happy to have attended.

The post-Mass socialising brought along some familiar faces, including some I hadn’t seen in a while. All this almost made up fully for having missed the Catholic Youth Day, which also took place yesterday. There, Bishop Rob Mutsaerts was the main celebrant of the closing Mass, and after his impressive homily last year, I am also on the lookout for the one he gave now. It is said to have been lengthy.

(Photo credit: Wim Koopman – iMoose)

Stats for October 2011

It’s been a good month here at the blog. Evidently, there have been several topics which drew much interest, since, numbers-wise, this his been the second-best month since I began. There have been 6,343 views, breaking the record of May and June of this year, when the numbers came close to 6,000. Still, this last month saw only a quarter of the views of that crazy July of 2010.

The top 10 of best viewed posts contains many local topics: the appointment of a new auxiliary bishop and the San Salvator soap opera which came to a conclusion this month. Older topics also remained of interest, with the previous archbishop of Berlin, the late Cardinal Sterzinsky, seeing some renewed interest. Let’s have a look.

1: Berlin is vacant: herald of things to come? 85
2: Bishop Mutsaerts vs San Salvator 67
3: A long expected appointment 58
4: Two years in the making, a new archbishop for Luxembourg 53
5: Twittering Cardinal Ravasi now turns to blogging 51
6: Het probleem Medjugorje 49
7: Assisi 2011, the official announcement, Bishop decline Mariënburg proposal to Protestantise Dutch Church 46
8: The artificial opposition of faith and dogma 45
9: Now official: San Salvator no longer Catholic 44
10 All Saints Day 42

Changing of the guard

Although it is not unheard of that an auxiliary bishop combines his duties with some other function, such as seminary rector (I am thinking of the case of Bishop Arthur Kennedy, auxiliary of Boston and rector of the St. John’s Seminary there, for one), that will not be the case in Haarlem-Amsterdam. Newly appointed Bishop Jan Hendriks will be taking up the duties of vicar general, but bidding his farewell to the Tiltenberg seminary.

In many ways, certainly in recent years, Msgr. Hendriks has become the face of the seminary. Under his direction, the Tiltenberg has grown (only three weeks ago, Msgr. Hendriks signed the contract for a new wing that will serve as a meeting hall and large lecture room), reflecting the steadily increasing number of students, now from at least four dioceses, living there. On my last visit there, a few years ago, when I stayed in the guest house, the rector expressed the concern that the guest rooms would soon be needed to permanently house new students. I do believe that a fair share of the credit for these developments can go to Msgr. Hendriks.

Now that the rector becomes a bishop, a successor needed to be found. And one has. At yesterday’s press conference Father Gerard Bruggink (left) was presented as the new rector  of the Tiltenberg. Fr. Bruggink has been the rector of the Marian pilgrimage shrine in Heiloo for the past couple of years, and before that he was a parish priest in Hilversum for ten years. At the moment, official sources inform us, he is working on a dissertation on the papal primacy, based on the life and works of Pope Innocent III (1198-1216).  From this we may gather that Fr. Bruggink has experience in pastoral parish work as well as a link with Mary, just like his predecessor. He is also a scholar, and is not unfamiliar with social media: on the website of the shrine, he keeps a regular blog.

Photo credit: RKK/Robbert Jan Bron

An invitation from Bishop Punt

Bishop elect Jan Hendriks, with Bishop Jos Punt and emeritus Bishop Jan van Burgsteden, at today´s press conference

Following the news of the appointment of Msgr. Jan Hendriks as auxiliary bishop and the retirement of Msgr. Jan van Burgsteden as his predecessor, Bishop Jos Punt of Haarlem-Amsterdam published the following ‘Word from the Bishop’ on the diocesan website:

“Brothers and sisters,

With joy and gratitude I can inform you that Pope Benedict XVI has appointed a new auxiliary bishop for our diocese. He is Msgr. Dr. J.W.M. Hendriks, until now the rector of the diocesan seminary and delegate for ecclesial education in our diocese. He is 57 years years old, has great pastoral, administrative and scientific experience and enjoys wide familiarity and appreciation in our diocese. I have all confidence that in his new office he will equally be of major value for our diocese.

Earlier I had asked the Holy Father to appoint a new auxiliary bishop as successor of Msgr. J.G.M. van Burgsteden s.s.s., who reached the age of 75 on 8 December 2010, and by now has been serving in ‘extra time’ for almost a year. I am extraordinary grateful to Msgr. van Burgsteden for all the good that he has done for our diocese in the past 11 years. In that time he has won a valued place in the hearts of many, and certainly also in mine. I am pleased that he has indicated that he wishes to fulfill a few duties for our diocese as emeritus bishop.

The consecration of Msgr. Hendriks and the ‘farewell’ of Msgr. van Burgsteden will take place on Saturday 10 December 2011. The ceremony will begin at 11:00 in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Bavo in Haarlem. Subsequently there will be time to  wish the departing and the new auxiliary bishop well.

Considering that the consecration and the farewell take place fairly close to New Year’s Eve, you will understand that we also take the opportunity to already share our best wishes with the bishops and each other. There will therefore be no separate new year’s reception in January 2012.

In these weeks of preparation I ask your special prayer for Msgr. Jan Hendriks and for our diocese. I very much hope that 10 December may be a festive day for our diocese and that many of you will want to celebrate with us. Everyone is very much invited.”

+Mgr. Dr. Jozef M. Punt
Bishop of Haarlem-Amsterdam

Photo credit: RKK/Robbert Jan Bron

A long expected appointment

Bishop elect Jan Hendriks in the courtyard of the Tiltenberg seminary

Earlier today, several news channels broke the news that Msgr. Dr. Johannes Willibrordus Maria (Jan for short) Hendriks has been appointed as the new auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam. Katholiek Nieuwsblad and Rorate both published the appointment about 90 minutes before the usual embargo was lifted at noon. Katholiek Nieuwsblad evidently realised their error and retracted the news item, before republishing it at the proper time.

The appointment comes as virtually no surprise. The name of Hendriks widely circulated when Rotterdam became vacant earlier this year, and some also mentioned him for Breda, which remains vacant still. Msgr. Hendriks is a priest of the Diocese of Rotterdam, although he has been working in the neighbouring Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam for years, most recently as rector of the Tiltenberg seminary, canon of the cathedral chapter, and canon lawyer for the legal court of Haarlem-Amsterdam. Since 2004, he has also been a consultor for the Congregation for the Clergy.

The bishop elect is a productive author, having written books and articles about such topics as canon law, the Blessed Virgin, celibacy, Vatican II and education, and various others.

The new auxiliary bishop succeeds Bishop Jan van Burgsteden, whose retirement was approved at the same time at Msgr. Hendriks’ appointment. The amiable and much-loved Van Burgsteden has been auxiliary bishop since 2000, and turned 75 in December. Despite his age, he travelled down to Madrid for August’s World Youth Days and would probably be able to function a while longer as auxiliary.

As auxiliary bishop, Msgr. Hendriks will hold the titular see of Arsacal, located in modern Algeria. The date of his consecration is announced as 10 December, but whether or not it can take place in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Bavo, which is undergoing extensive restorations, remains to be seen.

As motto, the bishop elect chose a quote from the Gospel of John: “Quodcumque dixerit vobis, facite” (“Do whatever He tells you”).

And lastly for now, fittingly for an active Facebook user, Msgr. Hendriks releases his first statement via that medium: “Today it’s been announced that I have been appointed as auxiliary bishop of Haarlem-Amsterdam, with Arsacal as titular see. Heartfelt thanks to all who pray for me and wished me well.”

The bishop, clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam have received a kindhearted and intelligent auxiliary bishop and vicar general who will undoubtedly prove to be an able shepherd for the Church.

Photo credit: RKK