Saint Anna monastery Oudenbosch changed
Things can change quickly around you. Sometimes unnoticed, other times you see it coming. I saw this change, but it was surprising. The Sint Anna monastery in Oudenbosch is going to change, and surprisingly fast. The number of sisters has been declining for some years, while growth remained out. Only the nearby cemetery, where the sisters are buried after their demise, knows no crisis. A sad observation, but unfortunately true. With pleasure, I wanted to visit the monastery and photograph from the inside. Not because it is such a beautiful historic or picturesque building, no just to capture the image of the times in 2017. And so it happened.
History Sint Anna monastery
The monastery belongs initially to the Franciscan Sisters of Roosendaal. At least, the old convent we are talking about. Founded on 18 37 as a daughter house and the sisters moved into a former inn. A school and an orphanage were connected to the monastery. The sisters moved in 1994 to a new home, the present monastery Sint Anna, Bernaertsstraat 21 in Oudenbosch. The new monastery could accommodate about a hundred sisters. For all sisters, there was plenty of room to live, including an indoor beautiful and spacious chapel. The current monastery is sparsely decorated and does not think of the well-decorated catholic churches. To match the lifestyle of the Zusters Franciscanessen, the device is in the entirely sober.
Collection of holy water containers
During my first visit, almost two months ago, Sister Jean-Paul gave an extensive tour. The peace and silences in the monastery were overwhelming. Patiently, Sister Jean-Paul told about the monastery and guided me through almost every detail og the building. The kitchen, the chapel, the dining room, the living rooms of the sisters and the long corridors with an image here and there and many photographs of sisters hung on the wall. I was also able to see the sister’s living room. No, I wanted to see it. During the tour, she told me that she collects holy water bowls. And yes, more than 200 different holy water bowls hang on her wall. A beautiful collection. Carefully hung on a single simple nail.
By five o’clock, it became busier in the corridors. The church service starts in a few minutes. All sisters who are agile, with or without the aid of a walker, travel to the chapel.
In fact, I had expected the sisters to walk around in a monastery in a habit. Nothing is less true than that. There is regular and decent clothing worn. Only sister Adriënne still wears her habit every day. A somewhat light gray habit during warmer periods of the year. If the weather becomes colder outside, a warmer black habit worn. My father-in-law arranged that I could take photos of Sister Adriënne, in a habit. What I did during my second visit.
Change has presented itself
The Sint Annaklooster is a unique living environment for the sisters. Although efforts are being made to maintain uniqueness, the changes are visible. A part of the monastery is being converted into housing units for another target group. Internally, his sisters moved to a smaller wing in the building. The future has knocked at the door of the monastery and has been let in. Changes have been set in motion. All this makes the Sint Anna Monastery even more special than it already is.
(translated by Google Translate)