With the reopening of the borders in Europe in March the Nordic Catholic Church was finally able to move forward with commitments and activities which had been planned and postponed in the countries during the pandemic.
First out was Spain where Bishop Roald Nikolai after two years of dialogue had announced plans to establish a new mission, then France where the appointment and installation of a new vicar general was overdue having been rescheduled several times, and finally before the summer, Germany, where the Feast of Pentecost was celebrated with long planned ordinations of new deacons and priests to serve in Germany, Slovakia and Italy.
The founding assembly which took place in Madrid in the Octave of Easter, was generously organised by Fr. Dr. Diego Gonzáles Ruiz, including full days at a conference centre together with key members of the Spanish team. The working sessions, individual talks and social meals were instrumental in preparing the grounds for the new mission – “Iglesia Española Veterocatólica” – which became a reality with the ordinations on April 21th, the Feast of St. Anselm of Canterbury.
On this day, Fr. Diego, a former Anglican priest, was ordained sub conditione to the priesthood in the Nordic Catholic Church. Fr. Diego will serve as vicar general of the administration in Spain. On the same occasion Bishop Roald Nikolai ordained Don Mario Sanchez Caballero to the diaconate and received new members into the church, one of them by chrismation. We are thankful for this valuable addition to the Nordic Catholic Church and the work for Old Catholicism in Europe. – An album with pictures from the ordinations is available here.
New Spanish website launched
At the end of June, only two months after the foundation of the mission, our Spanish team was able to launch a full-blown bilingual website for the Nordic Catholic Church in Spain: veterocatolicos.es. The website is accessible from the menus on the European websites.
During the clergy meeting held in the days of May 20-20 at the Prioré Notre Dame in Ayssènes, Aveyron, Fr. Brévin Bougouin was installed as new Vicar General of the Nordic Catholic Church in France.
Fr. Brévin, a former Roman Catholic priest, was incardinated in 2020 and serves from his Chapelle du St. Sacrément in Mirande, Gers. Pictures from the mass celebration can be seen here.
Fr. Brévin succeeds Fr. Alain Fraysse who resigns from the position after 10 years of service. Having left the Union of Utrecht over the women priest issue, Fr. Alain was one of the first back in 2011 to take up on the open invitation (Looking For a New Home?) from Bishop Roald Nikolai and joined the Nordic Catholic Church. He was incardinated in 2012 and initiated the work from his Chapel of Our Lady in Ayssènes, which has been the centre of our church in France up to this day. Fr. Alain will continue to serve his community in Aveyron.
At the end of mass Bishop Roald Nikolai expressed his profound gratitude to Fr. Alain for his cooperation, hospitality and dedicated service in building up the Nordic Catholic Church in France, and welcomed Fr. Brévin wishing him every grace and blessing in his new position as Vicar General.
With the ordinations in Germany on the weekend of Pentecost, 4-5 June, the Nordic Catholic Church in Continental Europe has been enriched with two new deacons and two priests. At the Abbey of St. Severin (Kaufbeuren) and in presence of family, friends and members of the communities in Germany, Hungary-Slovakia and Italy, Subdeacon Thomas Schulze and Dipl.-Theol. Joachim Danz were ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Roald Nikolai and Dr. Zoltán Drenkó and Deacon Davide Mossenta to the priesthood.
In their sermons Vicar General Daniel and Abbot Michael focused on the Christian hope in a world marked by deep problems and temptations of negative thinking. As Jesus met the despaired disciples with the greeting «Peace be with you», we must be confident in Gods presence among us and guided by the Holy Spirit proclaim the gospel of faith, hope and love.
Pictures from the ceremonies are available here. See also the German website here.
The deacons Thomas and Joachim will serve in Germany, Fr. Davide in Northern Italy and Fr. Zoltán in Slovakia, including the Hungarian mission in the Highlands. We pray for God’s blessing on their ministries and the communities they will serve.
Warm thanks to all those who made this gracious event possible, especially Vicar General Daniel Gerte and Abbot Michael Maier with their respective teams.