Norway: celebrations for 950th anniversary of Diocese of Bjørgvin, the most ancient in the country, on 8 July in Selja

The island of Selja, in Western Norway, will welcome Queen Sonja, Lutheran Bishops Halvor Nordhaug and Herborg Finnset, Catholic Bishop Bernt Eidsvig and the Minister for Cultural Heritage on 8 July for the 950th anniversary of the foundation by King Olav Kyrre of the Diocese of Bjørgvin, the oldest in Norway. The anniversary will be celebrated at the ruins of the ancient Benedictine monastery of Saint Alban, founded in 1100, the Diocese of Oslo reports. “I appreciate the fact that we can celebrate the anniversary together, focusing on what we have in common, which is more than what divides us”, Bishop Eidsvig said. “We have our history, which is especially present in these places”, but our eyes look “ahead, to the future. This is true both for us and for the Norwegian Church”. For 400 years, the monastery built on the island had been home to Irish, Scottish and English monks, who set out from there to evangelise Europe. Since, as is tradition, Catholics from the Diocese of Oslo (to which Selje now belongs) will make a pilgrimage to the island to celebrate the feast of Saint Sunniva, the sister of Saint Alban, Bishop Eidsvig will celebrate a Catholic mass there, at the ruins of the monastery, on 7 July.

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