The reality of human movement today makes the Church in the Netherlands and many of its local communities a home not only to autochthonous inhabitants, but also to asylum seekers, refugees, international students and expat families. To welcome everyone and to facilitate the integration of everyone within our Parish community, we have initiated a monthly English-language Mass which takes place in the Saint Antonius Abt Church in Wijchen every first Sunday of the Month at 14.00.
Aim: Our aim with the English-language Mass is not to make an independent community that is only dedicated to foreigners, but to open the door for the integration of foreigners within our Parish community. It is meant to bring foreigners together to build up a Christian family in which we all become a real support for one another, as we find ourselves so far away from our own biological families. It is a special opportunity that allows our foreign brothers and sisters to integrate into the Christian family and to meet new friends, so that no one will be stranger in the Church, which is after all a home to everyone. We want to form a church family that gives to our brothers and sisters the opportunity to live their faith despite the non-stop increasing secularization as it is experienced in the Netherlands. Celebrating the Liturgy together has the power to achieve all the here above mentioned objectives, since Liturgy is an act of worship that is not a mere combination of rituals and symbols, but a practice that helps us as believer to enter into a deep relation with God and with one another.
Bible study: Our English Mass is always followed by a moment of Bible study as a way to deepen our faith and knowledge of the Word of God. The Bible study gives us the opportunity to meditate about different themes and aspects of our daily life in the light of the Word of God. The time is usually from 16h00 to 17h30.
Meet and chat: After the Mass, there is always the opportunity to meet and chat with one another while enjoying a cup of coffee, tea or a cold drink with some home-made delicacies that everyone brings to share.
Children: People attending the English Mass are mostly young families, that means parents with kids who participate actively in the celebration as members of the choir and as servants of the Mass. After the Mass, while parents attend the Bible Study, kids are taken good care of with group activities.
What we wish to achieve with the English-language Mass is to help our Parish The Twaalf Apostelen to engage in the process of becoming a true missionary Parish, that offers to our foreigner brothers and sisters a real context where they can nurture and deepen their faith. A missionary parish that is committed to deepen and promote the catholicity of the Church defined by the Second Vatican Council as “People of God of the New Covenant” (PP. Paul VI, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 1964, N0.9). That means, a local Church community that is open to people of all tongues, tribes and nations (Mt. 28,16-20) and where cultural difference and language will never be an obstacle. But also a church-family in which foreigners, being far away from their biological families, may become a great support for one another in this journey of faith. This full integration will only be possible with a positive attitude, openness and welcoming culture from everyone, because the Church is shared by all of us.
Please, follow us in our Facebook (English Mass Wijchen) to be updated about our program and coming activities.