Thursday, 31 July 2014


I am halfway into the Summer holidays and it seems that our family is not going anywhere this year. Which is fine by me: no setting up tents, no lazy days with breakfast at 10am, but lots of opportunities to visit friends.

At the beginning of the month we went to visit our diocesan brother, who studies in Eichstätt (close to Munich). If I recall correctly, Eichstätt is the oldest seminary still extant, the second established after the Council of Trent. They celebrated the feast of their patron saint Willibald and went in festive procession to the cathedral for Mass and later for Vespers. (I was late for the second procession and pursued my bishop’s vanishing scarlet appearance like a lost penguin in cassock and surplice.)

Later on in July we had a children’s camp at our seminary. With a group of ten leaders plus a young priest, we entertained a group of 28 children aged eight to twelve. Fun was had by all: we ran around in the seminary backyard (a little forest) and introduced the children to Adoration, the Rosary and daily Mass, insofar as they weren’t familiar with it already. The weather was excellent; it started raining only when the parents came to pick up the children.

And then there are the books. I have been delving into The Phenomenon of Man by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (which was scheduled for last year already) and Sacred Causes by Michael Burleigh, a book about the displacement of religion by politics in the era after World War I. (An earlier book, Earthly Powers, deals with the same phenomenon from the French Revolution to World War I.)

Yesterday I went to visit the Prinsenhof in Delft with a friend and her husband, and learnt some new things about the Dutch independence war against Spain, William of Orange and his family. And now I must be off to Leuven, as I am already running late. But I would not forgo the July post, which you have surely all been expecting for days now!

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