The Carthusians – Lower Franconia

This is a translation of Prof. James Hogg’s article in “Historisches Lexikon Bayerns” I do not take credit for the article other than it’s translation which I hope will do Prof. Hogg justice, assist other (non german speakers) to read his articles on the this fascinating austere Catholic Religious Order.  I therefore dedicate this translation to Prof. Hogg and to all the future Carthusians, their supporters and friends.  May the good Lord accompany you in your knowledge seeking walk and being always guided by the Holy Spirit.  Pax +

 


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Ven. P. D. Marcellin Theeuwes O. Cart., the 72nd successor of St. Bruno has passed away…

Stat Crux Dum Voltitus Orbis

Dom Marcellin Theeuwes O. Cart., the 72nd successor of St. Bruno, has passed away. He died after a long illness on January 2 at the southern French Charterhouse of Méounes-lès-Montrieux.

Our Lord and heavenly Father, Marcellin is gone now from this earthly dwelling and has left behind those who mourn his absence.  Grant that we may hold his memory dear, never bitter for what we have lost nor in regret for the past, but always in hope of the eternal Kingdom where you will bring us together again.  Through Christ our Lord. R/. Amen.

Jacobus Johannes Maria Theeuwes, known by family and friends Jac, was born on 12 May 1936 in Gilze-Rijen, between Breda and Tilburg in the Netherlands, he was the youngest son. He had six older brothers.

From a very early age, Jac felt a monastic vocation. He made contact with the then flourishing Cistercian Abbey Marienkroon. This monastery had a good reputation and a great attraction for young men in those years. Jac Theeuwes devoted himself in Marienkroon theological studies. In this monastic atmosphere he became attentive through spiritual reading both on the Carthusian order and on its deep spirituality. He felt the call to live in a deeper solitude. The way of life of the Carthusians seemed to correspond to his calling.

Jac decided to become a Carthusian and enters on December 7, 1961 in the Charterhouse Selignac (Department Ain, France). He was ordained a priest on June 25, 1966; On December 8 of the same year he makes his solemn profession and received the religious name Marcellin. The monks of his monastery recognised his many talents and he soon became procurator in Selignac.

On June 11, 1973 Dom Marcellin was sent in the same function in the southern French Charterhouse Mougères. This monastery, located in the middle of the Languedoc vineyards, would be vacated and transferred to another religious order. Dom Marcellin was responsible for ensuring a smooth retreat in November 1977, as well as a good transition of the monastery to the community of the Sisters of the Monastic Family of Bethlehem, of the Assumption of the Virgin and of Saint Bruno.

dom marcellino
Dom Marcellin (center) in 2002 during the inauguration of the statue of Saint Bruno at the Grand Logis (Monastery of La Grande Chartreuse).

After completing this discipline he returned to the Order on 17 November 1977 as a procurator in the Charterhouse of Montrieux in the Department of Var. The monks of this Charterhouse elected him as their prior on April 27, 1983.

When the Carthusian Prior General Dom André Poisson (1923-2005) stepped down from this position in 1997 as Prior of La Grande Chartreuse, the Carthusians elected Dom Marcellin, who was esteemed throughout the Order, as their new Prior entrusted to the order of the Prior of the Great Charterhouse and the Reverendus Pater, the Prior General of the Carthusian Order.

During his time as Prior various important decisions were made. Some Charterhouses had to be closed. There were new male monasteries in Argentina, Brazil and Korea; in Asia they also opened a women’s charterhouse. More opportunities were increasingly created for the nuns, comparable to that of the monks, to live in individual houses, so allowing them greater solitude.

For health reasons, Dom Marcellin Theeuwes resigned in September 2012 from his posts and asked for mercy, to acceptance of his resignation. It was granted to him – by the Order but also by the Holy See.

His last years he spent again in the Charterhouse Montrieux, where he served his brothers as Prior. He died on 2 January 2019 after a long illness.

Requiescat In Pace et Amore

OBITUARY: Dr. James Lester Hogg (Mar. 10, 1931 – † Nov. 18, 2018) aged 87

It is with great sorrow that we announce that the father of the Carthusian studies Professor James Lester Hogg completed his labours and joined the Lord on November 18, 2018.

He was founding director of the University of Salzburg Press, having published, in excess of 550 books in his “Salzburg Studies in English Literature” series between 1971 and 1998. One branch of his publishing programme was devoted to republishing books by British poets neglected by mainstream publishers. Between 1994 and 2000 he also co-edited the The Poet’s Voice magazine .

Between 1971 and 1996 James taught at the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Salzburg. His many academic publications comprise such diverse fields of studies as contemporary British literature, Elizabethan literature, Romantic poetry and Restoration drama. James also distinguished himself as a worldwide ‘cognoscente’ and historian of the Carthusian Order of which he had been a member, he took the habit as Fr. Aelred at the Chartreuse de Selignac on June 23, 1961; Professed in June 24, 1964 and sent to Farneta on November 22, 1965.  He left the Order on June 24, 1968.

In the “Analecta Cartusiana” series, founded by him in 1970, he had edited and published in excess of 300 volumes.

His work in the field of Carthusian studies brought him two gold medals in 2006, one from the Federal State of Lower Austria and one from the Bishop of St. Pölten. The same year the President of France, Jacques Chirac, nominated him as a Grand Officer of the Légion d’honneur for his decisive contribution to the recovery of the Carthusian memory.  In 2007 Queen Elizabeth II officially acknowledged his great services to academic research. In December 2009 the Vatican made him a Knight of the Order of St. Sylvester. 

A good friend, academic advisor and donor to St. Mary’s Hermitage and our library, having provided us a vast collection of research material on Carthusian History & Liturgy.  Always available to give research advice even when Ill. Fr. Ugo-Maria last heard from James last October when he sent James the latest transcript on Carthusian Liturgy for comment; James been in and out of hospital for some time and said that he would be going back to hospital.

A part of his life from the 70s onwards was dedicated to the documentary, historical, artistic and historiographical collation for the Carthusian Order, founded near Grenoble by Saint Bruno the Carthusian in 1084; a work which was condensed in the publishing of approximately 350 miscellaneous and monographic issues from all the Charterhouses particularly in Europe.

James actively participated in the “Congrés Internacional sobre les Cartoixes Valencianes (El Puig de Santa Maria, Altura and Serra, April 2003), and was one of the signatories of the ‘Manifesto Asociacion Cultural Cartuja Valldecrist‘ (Altura, January 2004), visiting the foundation of Cánava Valley for the last time in 2008. He was interviewed in Saó magazine, nº 308 (2006), on the occasion of the monograph ‘Les cartoixes valencianes: el silencio de la memòria’ and collaborated in the series’ Les cartoixes valencianes’ (13 chapters) for RTVV, broadcast in 2007.

Among the works published from Salzburg include those dedicated to the houses of Portaceli (Serra, Valencia), Valldecrist (Altura, Castellón), Aracristi (El Puig de Santa Maria, Valencia) and Viaceli (Orihuela, Alicante) – in addition to the female foundation of Benifassà (Castellón) -, as well as some of its most important inhabitants, such as Bonifacio Ferrer, Francisco de Aranda, Francisco Maresme, Juan de Nea, Juan Bautista Civera, Joaquín Alfaura, Juan Bautista Giner, etc.

Two of his last works in the Central European collection brought to light this year are dedicated to the Valencian Carthusian, Fray Bonifacio Ferrer (1350-†1417) brother of St. Vincent Ferrer, coinciding with the VI centenary of his death: his monograph (nº 336) and the collected minutes of the presentations of the seminar that were dedicated last April in Valencia, Altura and Segorbe (No. 338).

Some of the most distinguished historians of  the Valencian Carthusians, such as Francisco Fuster Serra, Josep-Marí Gómez i Lozano, Josep-Vicent Ferre Domínguez, Miguel Ángel Catalá Gorgues, Estefania Ferrer del Río or Albert Ferrer Orts among others, as well as the Cultural Association Cartuja de Valldecrist, of Altura (which paid him an emotional tribute in the autumn of 2008) want to express their condolences, as well as to remember at this moment an essentially good man determined to restore the silent memories of the Charterhouse.

A Requiem Mass was held for James (Frá Aelred) Hogg this morning at St. Mary’s Hermitage by Fr. Ugo-Maria, entrusting James to God’s love,  the salvific value of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  

Requiescat in pace James.