Dear readers… It’s starting to get more and more challenging to blog… Today, in fact marks the beginning of the school year for us here in the seminary. This evening, we’ll be in the Namur seminary for a lecture, Mass and a small buffet dinner. But these last few days leading up have been extremely busy as we did a couple of mini pilgrimages together to areas in and around Belgium.
The first place we visited was a priory of Cluny. Priories are churches/monasteries that were established by one bigger monastery in some other place and remain dependent upon their founding monastery. This one, coming once more from the massive monastery of Cluny, is called St. Sèverin and it’s about an hour’s drive from where we live. Us seminarians along with the priest who’s in charge of us went there to spend the day together before all the craziness of the year began. And it’s quite a beautiful little church, that one—with tons of history. The priory itself was established around the year 1091 and the church was constructed during the first half of the 12th century. One of the monks who lived here was an architect for Cluny so the style of the church greatly resembles that of its mother.
Another little interesting tidbit that the parish priests shared with us of the church was its baptistery. It’s apparently a very rare piece of Syrian inspiration (I hope you’ve been praying for that country too). The sculptor was thought to have been inspired from ideas and images brought in from the crusades.
Well, as usual we didn’t just come in here to admire the church… we ended up celebrating Mass here together, we spent some time in Eucharistic adoration and we had lunch here too—this place happens to be a stopover hostel point for pilgrims coming down from the Netherlands and Germany on the Camino… That’s something I dream of doing one day—maybe I’ll even try to blog while on it! Who knows… hehehehe Anyway, it’s not uncommon for people here in Europe to take a week or a month off to start up the Camino up to a certain point, stopping and then resuming from there the next time. That way, their Camino ends up taking a few years in small intervals. That may be an option for this busy seminarian during the short summer vacation… Hehehhehe
Another little pilgrimage (by bike) we went on was to the beautiful little village of Dinant… but why write about it… I have a little surprise for you guys—I filmed while on it…
So there, you can see a bit of the countryside… This pilgrimage was really nice too because we were right by the river of the Meuse the entire way… Here are a few pictures and a final video of our day.
Finally, we arrived at Dinant… the first thing you can see as you bike up the river towards this beautiful little European village is the towering bell tower of an old church.
Then, as you cross the bridge, you are struck the fact that this town is surrounded by sculptures of saxophones. There’s a good reason for that… the inventor of saxophones, Mr. Sax, came from Dinant. So upon our arrival here, we immediately went for mass in that beautiful church I just showed you. This is one of those “You know you’re in Europe when… you walk into a church that’s as beautiful as this one”
After Mass, we biked over to the Norbertine monastery of Leffe. There, we had a nice picnic lunch, were welcomed by the Norbertine canons and were given a bit of a tour of the monastery. If Leffe sounds familiar, that’s probably because it is… It’s one of the Belgian monasteries that produce beer—the monks gave us a healthy serving of beer for us during lunch. We ended that day in silent adoration of Jesus in the monastery chapel.
Okay… I gotta get going… I got lots of work to do… Sigh… the life of a student… 😛