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Document Details :
Title: Hildebrand Verhoeckx (1766-1815)
Subtitle: Notes on an Augustinian Family History
Author(s): SCHRAMA, Martijn
Volume: 63 Issue: 1-4 Date: 2013
The French occupation of the Southern Netherlands turned the schuilkerken or ‘hidden churches’ of the Northern Netherlands – previously mission posts – into refuges where clerics could continue to live and work within the context of their order. Religious freedom had been introduced in the Republic in 1795, but the government’s ban on the communal religious life remained in force. Clerics therefore had to live independently in presbyteries or in the ‘stations’ or mission posts, which acquired a new importance as places of refuge. But the Dutch Augustinian Mission was troubled by a shortage of manpower. The Augustinians struggled to find a solution as the suppression of the monastic orders in the Southern Netherlands made it impossible to train new recruits. In the meantime, religious had to deal with the attentions of their old rivals the secular clergy, who looked with covetous eye to the wealthy religious stations. This article’s narration of the life of Hildebrand Verhoeckx (1766-1815) demonstrates the extent to which the preservation for the order of the stations – especially of Utrecht and Groningen – was at the forefront of the Augustinians’ minds. The letters and travels of Augustinians such as De Carnoncle, Van de Winckel, Henricus Kleijn and Augustinus Naudts shed light on the contacts that Augustinians in the north and south of the former Provincia Belgica maintained with each other.