On 28 August 2015, the feast of St Augustine, the Dutch Province launched a new book about its 120 years of history between 1886 and 2006.
The book is written in Dutch and is named 'Een kleine orde met allure. De augustijnen in Nederland, 1886-2006' ('A small order with a presence. The Augustinians in the Netherlands, 1886-2006'). In offering a full historical analysis, it has 512 pages and almost 100 illustrations, graphs and tables.
In this book, the author, Dr Brian Heffernan, tells the story of the Dutch Augustinians. At the end of the nineteenth century they consisted of a handful of parish ministers. During the twentieth century, their involvement in secondary education gave them a certain prestige in Dutch Catholic society. The impact on the Province of its expansion into missionary activity in South America and Papua (Indonesia) is included.
During the 120 years in question the Augustinians in the Netherlands were a small order with a presence. They were parish ministers and campaigners for the cause of Catholicism and religious life in the Netherlands. In the 1960s they regarded themselves as bearers of renewal, and today mostly as promoters of the spirituality of Augustine. These changing and often conflicting narratives provide a framework for the story, in which the constant reinvention of Augustinian identity holds centre stage.
The launch of the book took place in the Mariënhage priory in Eindhoven and was marked by a symposium on the history of the Dutch Province. Some 150 people attended and Professor Paul van Geest, Father Paul Clement (Provincial) and the author Brian Heffernan spoke.
The author, Brian Heffernan, is an academic researcher and a scholar of the history of the Order. The book has ISBN 978-90-8704-523-4 and costs EUR 49. It can be obtained directly from the publisher at www.verloren.nl or via firstname.lastname@example.org.