10 March 2021

2021: Centenary year of the foundation of the Benedictine Monastery "Our Lady of Bethany" in Loppem

In fact, on May 19, 1921, three of our foundresses made their first profession in the church of Saint-Sauveur in Angers (France). They had received their formation as postulants and novices with the Oblate Benedictine Sisters in Angers, known as "the Servants of the Poor”. After this memorable event, they returned to Belgium and settled, with 4 other sisters, not far from the young abbey of Saint-André (Zevenkerken). They settled in the small castle Lisbona, nicknamed "Little Bethany".

This year, in spite of the health restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we want to celebrate this Centennial in an appropriate way, because we want to bear witness to the profound interior joy that our life gives us according to the Rule of St. Benedict, which invites us to prefer nothing to Christ.

As a first activity, we have programmed a fraternal meeting with our Benedictine brothers and sisters from the Dutch-speaking region on FRIDAY 14 MAY. We hope to be able to welcome them for a Eucharist of thanksgiving celebrated by Father Abbot René Fobe of Saint Andrew's Abbey (Zevenkerken) and concelebrated by Father Abbot President of the Congregation of the Annunciation, Maksymilian Nawara o.s.b (Lubin, Poland).

In the afternoon, the Father-Abbot President will do us the honor of giving us a lecture-spiritual reflection, followed by a debate.

We will end this festive day with Vespers.

NB: Since current health restrictions may not allow us to meet, we are planning a program that will bring us together "over the airwaves".

Our 2nd invitation will be launched for the weekend of Pentecost (22-24 MAY): our green space in front of the church will host an exhibition of works of art by local artists that will be freely accessible.

On SUNDAY, JULY 11th, feast of St Benoit, we organize a big festive day for families and friends of the community. The Eucharist will be celebrated by our bishop Mgr Lode Aerts.

After a convivial picnic, there will be an opportunity to follow a lecture by our Mother Prioress Hannah who will speak to us about the current inspiration of the Rule of St. Benedict.

Various animations will be planned in the park.

Vespers will crown this festive day.

On NOVEMBER 1st there will be a prayer vigil for our dearly departed, organized by the Commune of Zedelgem in our cemetery.

And to end the year on a high note, we are planning an evening of meditation on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3rd, marked by the liturgical time of Advent against a musical backdrop.

In 2022, we will invite all our sisters around the world for a session "Back to the roots of my vocation".

Also in 2022, we will organize a party evening for the students of the abbey school of Zevenkerken, housed in our boarding school for girls.

We count on your prayer that this Jubilee Year may help us to deepen our monastic vocation.



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