New Academic Year
At Sint Augustinus, the start of the 2023-2024 academic year was marked by a memorable evening of bowling and drinks. This event brought students, both new and returning, together in the spirit of camaraderie and fun. The real highlight of the evening was the opportunity to meet new people. Students from diverse backgrounds and cultures came together, sharing stories, jokes, and the excitement of the upcoming academic (for others professional) challenges.
As the academic year unfolds, the memories of this delightful evening will serve as a reminder that, in Groningen, faith and friendship go hand in hand. Whether you're a seasoned student or a newcomer, the Catholic student parish of Groningen welcomes you with open arms. Here's to a year filled with learning, growth, and the joy of meeting new people who enrich our lives along the way.
Pilgrimage to Rome
After an exhausting academic year, 21 of us embarked on a pilgrimage to Rome. The journey brought us closer to our faith as we visited sacred sites and historical landmarks. Standing in awe before St. Peter's Basilica was a particularly impactful experience for all of us.
After averaging 20,000 steps per day, we cannot say that we are sad it is over. However, our tired feet were a small price to pay for all the cherished memories we made. We are immensely grateful to Father Arjen and Father Augustinus (our special guest) for planning such a wonderful trip! This experience will definitely stay with us for the rest of our lives.
Our First Holy Hour
For a long time already, the student parish has intended to organize a Holy Hour every two weeks or so. The idea behind it is to spend one hour, together as a group, in adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Its structure includes hymns, a reading from the gospel, and other texts to help with meditation, petitions, and moments of silence for personal prayer. To materialize this initiative, we made use of the chapel at the Salvatorkerk, located only a short bike ride south of the city center.
Prayer is incredibly necessary given the immense amount of horrific events unfolding in the world at this time; it is also the perfect opportunity to show our gratitude for all that God has blessed us with.
It was a great first experience and we will be planning more in the coming weeks.
After mass on Saturday, the student parish got together to celebrate Sinterklaas. The event had been in the planning for weeks already. While serving some tea and coffee to warm up a bit, Sinterklaas and Piet made a surprise appearance. They gave a very fun introduction to what the night is about, particularly entertaining for newer international members who did not know much about it.
After, it was time for exchanging gifts. Some members of the student parish had been encouraging people to participate in the exchange two weeks prior; you might have seen them standing at the doors of the cathedral after mass. Those who signed up agreed to secretly prepare a gift and write a poem for one other participant (they got a name at random).
Some poems were long, others short. Most of them in English, a few in Dutch, and even one in Spanish. Regardless, all were very thoughtful, well-written, and even funny on some occasions. Perfect to get everyone into the Sinterklaas spirit. The gifts were also very nice, and we had a great time opening them. I remember seeing a lot of chocolates, a couple of books, a small foosball table, and a lot of other very fun stuff. We rounded off the night by sharing a very typical Dutch soup, along with many other delicious treats.
It was also nice to see some new faces, hopefully, we will see them again in one of the following events.
Finally, I would like to use this opportunity to thank those who made such a pleasant evening possible, Fr. Jellema, Klara, Gekko, Frank, and Viviane. It was also an honor to count with the presence of the Bishop
Chain of Worship
During the mass, a new initiative by Father Rolf Wagenaar was introduced. He invited everyone that forms part of the Catholic community in Groningen to create a chain of worship. The idea is that those who can, commit to spending one hour per week with the Most Blessed Sacrament. This can be at any time during the night, morning, or afternoon depending on your schedule. A lot of people signed up, including many members of the St. Augustinus student parish.
Of course, if you are interested in joining, please let us know which time fits you best using the contact details on this website.
This Saturday we went bowling after English mass. It was a great opportunity to meet some of the new members of our parish. There were 18 of us in total (a few missed the picture), a very big group. It was necessary to reserve three lanes to ensure everyone could play.
Most of us could definitely use some extra practice for next time though, many of the first shots went straight into the gutter. By the end of the night, almost everyone managed to embarrass themselves a bit. Very funny nonetheless, so quite useful for breaking the ice. It can be said with confidence that we will be planning another bowling night in the near future.