During the weekend of May 12th-14th our Hungarian clergy together with Abbot Michael OPR of the St. Severin Monastery joined Bishop Roald Nikolai and Fr. Zoltán Drenkó in Rosenau for the episcopal blessing of the altar table of the Good Shepherd’s chapel of the Nordic Catholic community in Slovakia.
The chapel which was acquired by rent last autumn, is located in the historic center of Rosenau in the building of a former Franciscan Monastery, currently used as a cultural center. After some time of regular services, the chapel was blessed in November by Fr. Zoltán, opening it officially for liturgical use.
The long-planned episcopal blessing of the altar table took place on Saturday May 13th, with local members and friends of the community attending along with guests from Hungary, Transylvania, Germany and Norway.
The ceremony was opened by Fr. Zoltán with greetings and introductory words in German and Hungarian, followed by a simple ritual of blessing by Bishop Roald Nikolai, assisted by Fr. Zoltán, Abbot Michael OPR and Fr. Aelred OPR. The altar and those present were sprinkled with holy water, and the altar table was marked by five crosses – one at each corner and one on the center of the table – over which the bishop made the sign of the cross with holy water.
“This altar be blessed and sanctified in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
In the mass that followed, Fr. Zoltán held a sermon from the Gospel of St. John underlining the importance of Jesus’ instruction to his disciples that in his absence they should follow his example and love each other as he had loved them (13,31-34): Love and tenderness are fundamental in the life of disciples of Christ. Our testimony is authentic when Philostorgé – that is, the deep affection that members of the Christian community share with each other – fills our lives and is expressed in actions. All people are susceptible to this. There is no partiality with God. A careful attitude is a touching and effective way to reach out to souls for Christ. Love and tenderness are simply the basic expressions of discipleship.
After mass all participants were generously invited to a celebration with dinner at a restaurant in the outskirts of Rosenau, … where also new friends were made in spite of the language barriers.
An album with more pictures from this festive occasion and associated social gatherings is available via this link: Altar Blessing and Celebrations in Rosenau, Slovakia.
Warm thanks for a generous and well organised program to Fr. Zoltán and all those who made this promising event possible, including the administrator of St. Vincent of Lérins’ mission Fr. Péter Kováts.
We wish God’s blessing for the growing work of the Good Shepherd’s community in Rosenau!