Every year, a few other volunteers and I prepare youths for their confirmation. One of the things we do with them is visit a monastry, in the theme of mission. We have visited several over the years, we had a visit to the Willibrordus Abbey in Doetinchem in 2014, 2018 and 2019. We had a tour by a monk/lay brother each time.
Where to go for a visit to the Willibrordus abbey
The Abbey is located on Slangenburg estate, in the vincinity of Slangenburg Castle. On a winding gravel road you arrive at the Willibrordus abbey. You can park in front of the abbey or at the back. The Abbey lies beautifully in between the forrest. During a visit to the Willibrordus abbey you can take a walk or sit outside in the quiet and watch the flowers.
Our tour by the monk started with the kids asking questions and then we visited the garden, kitchen, dining room, the chapel, meeting room and the library, which is a booklovers dream.
The lay brothers have a regular day and week schedule. Our guide explained what they do all day, that they are Benedictine monks, why they live the way they do, the hierarchy they follow, how they gain income. The kids also wanted to know why our guide choose to live here. He said that the core of what they ask themselves is “do I need this?”, and you don’t need that much is kind of their motto.
There are several masses a day in the chapel of the abbey and laypeople are welcome to participate. There is a center of silence, in which you can stay. People come here for peace and quiet, for reflection. To unplug and load up again.
The peace, the quiet, the building, the nature and the stories of the lay brothers make the abbey worth a visit.
Abdijlaan 1 Doetinchem
Are you looking for other reviews of places in The Netherlands? We also have a review of the Van der Valk hotel Tiel on the site. When visiting the Netherlands in Spring time, don’t skip the beautiful gardens at Keukenhof.
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