Catholic Church in Iceland
Make us know the shortness of our life, so that we may gain wisdom of heart. (Psalm 90)
To begin this article, I would like to share some of the moments and places during our pilgrimage where we were able to encounter God.
Our first night, as we walked to our guesthouse in Nazareth, we passed by the Basilica of the Annunciation, and we were able to „run in“ in order to make our first visit to the place where God became man in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
We were able to visit Mount Tabor where Jesus showed His Divinity; where Moses and Elijah appeared in order to manifest that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.
We visited the Mount of the Beatitudes where Jesus taught the „heart of the Gospel“ Matthew 5-7.
We renewed our baptismal promises at the shore of the Jordan River.
In Bethlehem, we participated in the Holy Mass in the grotto where Jesus was born and visited the disabled children in the House of Mercy.
At the end of our pilgrimage, we prayed at the Mount of Olives, in Gethsemane, and had the opportunity for confession. We were able to pray at Calvary and participate in the Mass outside of the Holy Sepulcher.
During our stay in Jerusalem we were also able to visit the Wailing Wall, where our guide taught us that for the Jewish people, this is the only place where God is present.
But Jesus Christ teaches us something totally unique and new. „I will be with you until the end of the ages,“ (Matthew 20). „Abide in me and I in you,“ (John 15). Our Lord teaches us that God is a God who is with us, not just in the holy places.
Once there was a group on pilgrimage that passed through a monastery. One of the men got lost and found himself outside the room of one of the monks. The monk was sitting at his desk, studying in a practically empty room. The man asked him, “Where are all your things?” The monk responded, “I might ask you the same thing.” “I am only passing through,” replied the man. The monk looked thoughtful and said, “I am as well, just passing through.”
Our pilgrimage did not end when we got on the plane in Tel Aviv. Our life is a pilgrimage to our heavenly homeland and we go on pilgrimage to remind us of this truth. We were not made to be here on this earth for forever. “Make us know the shortness of our life, so that we may gain wisdom of heart” (Psalm 90).
I was talking to one of the sisters before dinner at the House of Mercy in Bethlehem. She was giving one of the baby girls a special treatment for asthma. The sister explained to me that the child had recently arrived and they had already travelled to Germany to have studies done and had put all the means to help this child live a healthy life. Another child needs special lights and music in order to relax and fall asleep. Each child is taken care of with exquisite delicacy and is given all that they need. In this same way, God gives each one of us what we need in order to make it to our heavenly homeland.
What is it that we need? St. John Bosco says that we need two wings to fly to heaven: frequent Confession and Communion.
Through the sacraments, God makes Himself present and is with us. He does not leave us alone. We did not need to bring Calvary back with us to Iceland. We do not need to go once a month to the Holy Land to encounter God. God is with us. We receive Him truly present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament and in Confession we are alone with Jesus and we give Him our sins, we accept His sacrifice and put all our trust in Him.
We give thanks for this wonderful opportunity to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and the grace to encounter God in these holy places, by walking in His footsteps. We pray that this pilgrimage will not end, but continue, and that our whole lives may be directed towards our heavenly homeland, nourished by the sacraments.
With best regards from Sister Porta Coeli
Today, October 31, Bishop David B. Tencer OFMCap. will celebrate Mass at 6 p.m. in the Cathedral of Christ the King in Landakot - on the second anniversary of his ordination as Bishop of Reykjavik.
The Church Paper "Kaþólska kirkjublaðið" for October and November 2017 has been published!!
Pastoral Letter of the Bishop on the Occasion
of the 50th Anniversary of the Diocese of Reykjavík
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
When someone reaches the age of fifty, we say that the person has grown up and has acquired a lot of experience and maturity, and he or she perhaps has a big family and grandchildren. But in the life of the Church, half a century is not a great milestone. In this sense, she is like a young girl full of life and beauty or a boy who has not achieved much in life, but is full of potential and desire for action. Next year, our Diocese is 50 years old, and it is like that girl or the boy, who has no great experience, but still has achieved quite an amount, and still has the longing to achieve success.
If we want to find a word that characterizes this historical milestone, then gratitude comes first to my mind. Gratitude for all that has happened, not only in these fifty years, but to all those who helped on this road. With joy and gratitude, we think of Fr. Bernard and Fr. Baudoin, who offered themselves for the Church, working here in the 19th century. We do not want to forget about any Christian who gave a helping hand that the Catholic faith could take root again in Iceland. How could we forget Gunnar Einarsson, Nonni, the Montfort Fathers, Martin Meulenberg, and Jóhannes Gunnarsson, the St. Josephʼs Sisters and many faithful who lived, worked and prayed in the Church and for her? It came to the point that Paul Pope VI established the Diocese of Reykjavík on October 18th, 1968.
But our gratitude would not be complete if we wanted only to thank men. It would be a big mistake to forget that all good comes from God, or like G.K. Chesterton puts in his book Orthodoxy: “Children are grateful when Santa Claus puts in their stockings gifts of toys or sweets. Should I not be grateful to God for giving me two miraculous legs? We thank people for birthday presents of cigars and slippers. Have I not then to thank God on my birthday for giving me life?”
As I said, 50 years are not a long time in the history of a diocese. Perhaps someone says we are like a child that is learning to walk. Of course, there are a number of failures and falls, and we have truly experienced this in our Diocese. But the child always stands up again, thanks to God, and continues his journey.
In the coming year, we will prepare for the 50th anniversary of the Diocese. And what are we going to do?
1. Perhaps it would be right to compile a travelling exhibition so that all who see it can find out how God built up our Diocese in the course of time.
2. We will go to Rome for a pilgrimage to thank God in the place where the announcement of the establishment of the Diocese was first made.
3. We will have a Mass of Gratitude in the Basilica of St. Peter and meet with Pope Francis in his audience, because we are pilgrims there.
4. Again, we will hold a Mass of Gratitude in our Cathedral on November 4, 2018, together with all the Nordic bishops and Cardinal Arborelius. In the same Mass we are going to dedicate the Diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
And many other things will be on the agenda.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In the next year there will be a variety of events and celebrations, and we can look forward in anticipation. Thanks to God and to all of you who intend to participate.
With gratitude, Bishop David
A pilgrimage to Skálholt in South Iceland in the memory of Bishop Jón Arason on Saturday, November 4, 2017.
The monument of Jón Arason, bishop and martyr will be visited.
We will depart at 9 AM from the parish hall in Hávallagötu 16, 101 Reykjavík. We can also pick you up in Hafnarfjörður or Breiðholt.
A Mass will be celebrated on the way.
Please call 552 5388 if you wish to join us.
The Focolare Movement in Iceland invites you to a gathering on the day of all Saints, on Wednesday, November 1. We will meet in the Parish Hall at Hávallagata 14 - 16 in Reykjavík, at 6 PM.
After a light dinner and a brief introduction on the Focolare movement, Maria Verhegge and Henri-Louis Laroche, representatives of Focolare in Western Europe and the Nordic Countries, deliver a presentation about Virgin Mary.
After a coffee break there will be opportunities for discussion and debate.
All are welcome!
For further information please contact: Wilma van Bussel, tel. 860 0271 or Guðmundur Smári Guðmundsson, tel. 868 4394
Preparations for the visit of the relics of St. Therese of Lisieux
and her parents to the Nordic countries have begun
In October 2018 the relics of St. Theresa of Lisieux and her parents – Zélie and Louis Martin – will come to the Nordic countries. Recently, the local coordinators met for the first preparations.
The Nordic Bishops‘ Conference decided to bring the relics of the three saints - Thérèse, Zéline and Louis Martin - to all the countries and dioceses of the Nordic Bishops' Conference for veneration. This project met with great benevolence in Lisieux, which means that the relic shrine will cross the northern polar circle for the first time.
This weekend, local coordinators from the Nordic countries met for the first time to prepare this project. A particular challenge is the large distances and the remote places.
The relics will be hosted in Stockholm on 28 September 2018, according to the current state of preparations. From there the journey continues to Norway on October 6 or 7, to Denmark on October 19, to Finland on October 24, and to Iceland on November 3. From there they will return to Lisieux on November 5, 2018.
St. Therese of Lisieux was born on 2 January 1873 in Alençon (France) as the youngest of nine children of Zélie and Louis Martin. Already as a 15-year-old she had the desire to join the Carmel. Her applications were however rejected several times, among other things due to her young age. When she was finally allowed to enter, she chose the name "Thérèse de l'enfant Jesus (Therese of the Child Jesus) and lived the idea of the "Child Jesus" in a way that fascinated many people even after her death – she wrote her spiritual memoirs, "Story of a Soul", by order of her prioress. It was published two years after her death. Therese was only twenty-four years old when she died on 30 September 1897. Her last words were "My God, I love you!"
As early as 1923 Thérèse de Lisieux was beatified and in 1925 she was cononized. Pope Pius XI. declared her patroness of the World Mission on 14 December 1927. On October 19, 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II declared her a Doctor of the Church.
Her parents Zélie and Louis Martin were also sanctified in 2015.
On the 30th of October, FKL (Association of Catholic lay people) will show a film about the new church in Reyðarfjörður in East Iceland "The Church from Hriňová in Slovakia to Iceland"
Father Denis will also have a short presentation about their recent Pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
This will start at 20:00 in the Parish hall at Hávallagata 14-16 in Reykjavík.
Coffee/Tea and pastries will be served to all.
Sunday 22nd October – Mission Sunday
Our calling is to bring the hope of the Good News to those places where there is strife and where there is much poverty, insecurity and need. It is in these places that we are involved in helping all who are in need, no matter what nation, religion or skin colour.
Thanks to the generosity of those who donate, we can support projects for mental and physical health and also child care.
We support 44,000 schools, 5,500 hospitals and other social institutions.
Every year we support more than 3,000,000 poor children, orphans and elderly people.
We help nearly 70,000 seminarians in missionary seminaries and also new priests in dioceses.
Niedziela 22. październik – Niedziela misyjna
Powolanie nasze polega na przeslaniu nadziei ewangelii tam gdzie jest niepokój, bieda, niebezpieczenstwo í niedola.
Tam dzialamy czynami pomagajac wszystkim w niedoli bez wzgledu na pochodzenie, wiare czy kolor skóry.
Dzieki ofiarom skladanym przez dobroczynców mozemy co roku wspierac projekty pomocy duchowej, opieki zdrowotnej i wychowania.
Wspieramy około 44.000 szkół, 5.500 szpitali i innych obiektów społecznych.
Troszczymy się co roku o ponad 3 miliony biednych dzieci, sierot i osób starszych, wspieramy prawie 70.000 kleryków w seminariach misyjnych i 2000 neoprezbiterów.
This month, Pope Francis asks us to pray that the rights of workers and the unemployed will be respected. Work is one of the fundamental human rights. Let us make an effort so that everyone has access to employment in dignified conditions.
This month, Pope Francis asks us to pray that the rights of workers and the unemployed will be respected. Work is one of the fundamental human rights. Let us...
Feast Day of St. Teresa of Avila - Sunday, October 15th. 2017.
On this day a Mass will be held in the the Carmelite Monastery at 8.30 am at Ölduslóð 37 in Hafnarfjörður.
Sunday October 1st: Dear Friends in Christ, today we met at Keflavík Airport at 21:30 hs. All the members of the group got together for the check in and ready to flight towards Tel Aviv with a flight Stop in Berlin. From now on, we will try to send pictures and a summary of the day in order to invite to our pilgrimage all those who want to accompany us in spirit and with their prayers.
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Landakotskirkja, formellt Basilika Krists konungs, är domkyrkan för Reykjaviks romersk-katolska stift, det romersk-katolska stift vars område omfattar Island. Kyrkan kallas ofta...
La cattedrale di Cristo Re, anche conosciuta come chiesa di Landakotstún, è il principale luogo di culto cattolico di Reykjavík, capitale dell'Islanda.La chiesa è sede della ca...
Bazylika katedralna pw. Chrystusa Króla w Reykjavíku, Kościół Landakot (isl. Basilika Krists konungs, Landakotskirkja) – rzymskokatolicka katedra znajdująca się w zachodni...
Landakotskirkja, formally Basilika Krists konungs, is the cathedral of the Catholic Church in Iceland. Often referred to as Kristskirkja, Landakotskirkja is in the western part of ...
La cathédrale-basilique du Christ-Roi de Reykjavik, appelée couramment « église de Landakot », est l’unique cathédrale catholique islandaise siège du diocèse catholique. ...