22nd February 2020

Father Ben Jorna MHM RIP

It is with regret that we inform you of the death at 10.30 am on Sunday morning, 6th October 2019, in Missiehuis Vrijland, Oosterbeek, The Netherlands, aged 83, of        Ben Jorna Mill Hill Missionary May he rest in peace   Bernard Jorna was born on 29 November 1935 in Arnhem, The Netherlands. His father, Jentje (Jan), an office clerk, was married to Frederica (née Molle). Ben … Read more


I was visiting the Arnhem War Cemetery, twenty minutes’ walk from our house in Oosterbeek, on 21 Sept 2019. There are hundreds upon hundreds of graves of young soldiers, mainly British, victims of the 1944 Operation Market Garden and its airborne landings. The neat rows of headstones, the big Cross and the monument: “Their name liveth for evermore”, lead to sad reflections and prayer. 1523 … Read more

Trappistine Sisters of the Abbey of Koningsoord, The Netherlands, Open Natural Cemetery

The Trappistine Abbey of Koningsoord, Arnhem, is built on the site of the former formation house of the Mill Hill Missionary Brothers. A new cemetery providing natural burials was recently opened in the Netherlands after years of preparation. The Trappistine Sisters of the Abbey of Koningsoord came up with the idea as a place of consolation and of connection, and of course as a final … Read more

Peace Week

Today, Sunday 22nd September, is Peace Sunday, the liturgical heart of Peace Week. The overall theme for this event is ‘Care for the earth, Common Home’. It coincides with the Global Climate Strike called for by the amazing Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg. In over 150 countries, people are stepping up to support young climate strikers and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. … Read more

Regional Assembly of the Mill Hill Missionaries in The Netherlands

Dutch Regional Assembly  These past two days, 9-10 September, a record number of 58 Mill Hill Missionaries resident in The Netherlands participated in the Annual Regional Assembly at St Jozefhuis and Missiehuis Vrijland in Oosterbeek. The highlight of this assembly – beyond the in-house news briefing and the sharing of past missionary experiences by two senior missionary colleagues – was the keynote address the second … Read more

The Netherlands: Faith in Times of Radical Diminishment

Pr0minent Dutch theologian, Erik Borgman, will be the main speaker at the upcoming assembly of the Mill Hill Missionaries in The Netherlands. An extract from a recent entry in his blog commenting on the future of faith and Church in a situation of pervasive secularisation. Church leaders, pastors and volunteers in parishes and religious communities, they are everywhere trying to save what can be saved. That … Read more

Dutch Region: Jubilarians Day, August 15

The Dutch region of the Mill Hill Missionaries traditionally celebrates its jubilarians on August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption. The inclusion of two Trappist nuns and a diocesan priest, all residents of Missiehuis Vrijland, brought the total number of ‘celebrants’ to twelve! Equally true to tradition General Superior Michael Corcoran and Vicar General Desmond McGillicuddy joined the celebrations. The festive Eucharist was fittingly led … Read more

Utrecht, The Netherlands: Dramatic Surge in Number of Church Closures

Over the past few decades, many churches in the Netherlands were closed, due to the declining number of attendees, the high costs of maintenance, and the lack of priests. Still, this is just the tip of the iceberg. In an interview with a local newspaper last year, Dutch Cardinal Wim Eijk predicted that in the Archdiocese of Utrecht, 285 churches needed to be closed, which … Read more

Frans van der Lugt SJ, Bridgebuilder and Martyr in Syria, – ‘Only with empty hands can one really receive one’s neighbour’.

Fr. Frans could also send messages from occupied Homs. In April 2012 the Flemish magazine Streven published a report on his celebration of Holy Week and Easter: “About six weeks ago we welcomed seven families into our home, a total of about 40 people. We’ve become one big family; we all use the same kitchen. These people heard that I wanted to celebrate Palm Sunday with a … Read more

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