January 19th, 2014

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Sunday January 19th Moving Day

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

I am all packed with my few belongings to cross the border from Heemstede to Haarlem. Cor Oost www.coroostmusicscore.nl  played the organ and directed the choir at this morning’s mass at St. Joseph in Bennebroek, just a 10 minute bicycle ride from where I have been staying since arriving here from Palma de Mallorca on the 8th. Cor and I became friends last summer when I was working on my boat. Cor has his boat at the yacht club where I worked, next door to “de Schinkel”. One of the first questions I had for him: if he might be related to Jan Oost from whom our great grandmother bought the pilot cutter sailboat in 1906. This is indeed the case.  The choir sang Cor’s own motet compositions at the offering and communion, I was impressed and enjoyed it very much. The sermon from the new pastor Eric van Teijlingen was a wonderful message and reminder on the gospel and readings about being witnesses of our Faith. One of his new parishioners had given him a welcome present in the form of a book from Jos Palm “De ondergang van rooms Nederland” (The Fall of the Roman Catholic church in the Netherlands). A subject that has become for me  the sharpest contrast to the period when I left Holland in 1957 and the present. Father Eric pointed out that 50 years ago there was little reason to be a witness because every one in your family, school, social circles went to the same church. You’d be preaching to the choir. The psalmist David apparently felt differently in today’s responsorial psalm 40:10: “I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart;  I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power.” 

Last Thursday we paid our last respects at the funeral of Jo Slijper, the mother of my long time Dutch-American friend Evert. I will be staying in her house from today till I return to Seattle on April 3rd. Except for the 10 days from this Thursday when I will be the chicken-feeder in Eck en Wiel, just like this time last year. The service for Jo was done in the appropriate style that befits her legacy. I had the privilege to meet her in April 2012 and I repeat the photograph that I showed then on this blog of April 8, 2012. Evert’s cousin, Victor van Liemp, who made me the best dressed shipwreck survivor, had also come from Ibiza for the funeral of his mother’s sister.