Item 1705 - Orthodox downward mobility or secularist prosperity?: the tragedy of Dutch Catholicism

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CA ON00389 F4-9-1-1705


Orthodox downward mobility or secularist prosperity?: the tragedy of Dutch Catholicism


  • November 1986 (Creation)

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8 p. of textual records

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This item is an 8 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Orthodox Downward Mobility or Secularist Prosperity?’ published in the New Oxford Review, November 1986, pp.7 - 15. The article is identified as the third installment of a series of articles taken from a Nouwen diary written during his time as priest-in-residence at L’Arche, Trosley-Breuil, France. The excerpts from Nouwen’s diary in this article begin December 2, 1985 and end January 5, 2986. Nouwen’s entries begin with a description of his frustration with himself and how he uses his time; how he becomes so easily distracted from what may be more important things. He writes then, of talks given by Jean Vanier about living with the poor, being poor. Jean says, ‘Jesus always leads us to littleness. It is the place where misery and mercy meet. It is the place where we encounter God’. Nouwen writes of a letter he receives which is a call from the L’Arche community at Daybreak in Canada to be their pastor and his realization that he had never been Called before, his life choices until then had been his. There is a short entry on the ‘glory’ of God; a longer entry about the celebration of Christmas at L’Arche and a certain distance Nouwen felt from it all. The remainder of the entries are about his visit to his family and friends in Holland; his sense of distance again, this time because so many have left the church and no longer really ‘hear’ what he wants to share. He describes a visit to his Bishop about going to Daybreak; the state of marriage as he experiences it among his friends; his father’s 83rd birthday celebration. His final entry states, ‘As I leave my country I feel powerless and sad. I also feel an inner desire to do something for my own people and church in Holland – somehow, sometime’.

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Item is 3 of a series of 10 articles, later published in Road to Daybreak, Doubleday & Co., N.Y., 1988. See also Published works series, items 1701, 1702, 1706, 1709, 1710, 1715, 1717, 1718, 1719.

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Published in New Oxford Review 53, no. 9 (November 1986): 7-15. This item is a photocopy of the original article.

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2000 01


Box 296

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