Hello past and present members of Holy Family Parish, Antwerp
A decision has now been made about the future of our parish. The last couple years, attendance at Holy Family has been dropping pretty regularly. The fact that there are not many ex pats anymore has hurt Holy Family. The English Mass at the cathedral has also affected the attendance at Holy Family.
At our last Parish Council meeting we made the decision to stop. Less than 10 people attending Mass is not enough to warrant Father Peerlinck, who will be 86 in November, to keep making the trek from Antwerp to Schoten every week. Attending Mass in a close to empty chapel also, is not very inspirational. Pretty much, the parish council and a handful of others is the extent of the parish. That being said, it’s been decided that Christmas Eve Mass this year will be the last time we will celebrate the Eucharist as a parish. Sunday, December 15th, will be a special Mass of Thanksgiving for the 47 years we were blessed to celebrate as a parish. There will be an extended social gathering after that Mass, with cake, refreshments and extra time to socialize. The following Sunday, the last Sunday before Christmas will be a normal Mass with a normal social afterwards. After the Christmas Eve Mass, everyone rushes off to their own celebrations so there will not be a special gathering. If you will happen to be in the area, and would like to join us for either the Thanksgiving/Celebration Mass and special “party” after on Dec. 15th at 10:30 am or the Christmas Eve Mass, Dec. 24 at 5:30 pm, we would love to see you.
If you can’t/won’t be able to join us for the Mass before Christmas and you would like to drop a note to Fr. Peerlinck or any one of the council members with your thoughts on this, any comments about the time you were with us, we would be happy to hear from you. ( All email addresses can be found on the back of any bulletin at www.holyfamilyantwerp.org ) Any notes or emails would be mentioned, like Father has always done with, for instance, Christmas greetings from past parishioners. If you would like to send something to me, I will be sure to have it read at our Celebration Mass on the 15th of December.
It’s a sad time for Holy Family, but we are thankful to have had 47 years to meet and celebrate the Eucharist with each other. Many lasting and wonderful friendships have been forged over these years and for that, we are forever grateful.
May God Bless and keep you all in His love and mercy,