100th anniversary mass marks the completion of the mission of St. Ansgar's Scandinavian Catholic League

On Saturday, February 6, 2010, the Bishops of Copenhagen and Stockholm will concelebrate Holy Mass in the Lady Chapel of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York at 10:00 AM, to mark the 100th anniversary and the completion of the mission of St. Ansgar's Scandinavian Catholic League.

Bishop Czeslaw Kozon of Denmark will be the Principal Celebrant, and Bishop Anders Arborelius of Sweden will be the Homilist.

Members of the American clergy will include Rev. Christopher Cullen, S.J., Rev. Philip J. Sandstrom and Rev. John Halborg, who has served as Editor of the St. Ansgar's Bulletin since 1994. Members of the Sisters of St. Birgitta will also be present from their convent of Vikingsborg, Darien, CT.

Recently the League received a letter of appreciation from Bishop Czeslaw Kozon, in which he wrote:

"Normally when you celebrate a jubilee, you go on by extending wishes for the future. We are celebrating and giving thanks for what has been done and achieved during the past century. The 100th anniversary of the foundation of St. Ansgar's Scandinavian League is at the same time the marking of its dissolution. Thanks be to God for this extraordinary century and thanks to all the committed people who zealously have kept up this great work".


St. Ansgar's Scandinavian Catholic League was founded by Frode C.V. Rambusch. He was converted to Catholicism in 1896 by the Paulist Fathers, stating that he and his father, a high church Lutheran pastor, had always believed in the basic truths of the Catholic faith.

In 1910, together with three friends, Rambusch founded the League, at the request of then Archbishop Farley, as a social gathering place for other Scandinavian converts. They chose to name the League for St. Ansgar, who introduced Catholicism to Denmark and Sweden between 827-853.

Ansgar, known as the Apostle of the North, is one of the three great Benedictine missionaries of that era, the other two being St. Augustine who introduced Christianity in England and St Boniface who is known as the Apostle of the Germans.

Rambusch had a great love of Scandinavian history, the stories of Vikings, and the early Catholic faith in Scandinavia, and wrote on these subjects in the early annual issues of St. Ansgar's Bulletin. This tradition continued through the years. Sigrid Undset, a Nobel Laureate for Literature, who fled Norway during World War II, contributed many articles to the Bulletin.

Father John La Farge, S.J. Editor of the Jesuit weekly magazine America, took a profound interest in the Church in Scandinavia. He was especially interested in the 500 years when all of northern countries were Catholic, and for over 35 years wrote an article almost annually for the Bulletin.

In the 1987-88 edition Thor Heyerdahl's article was published reminding readers that Leif Erikson was a Christian, baptized by King Olav Tryggvason in Catholic Norway, appointed by him to take Christianity home to Greenland, that Leif had a priest on board when he journeyed to America 500 years before Columbus, and a child born on that expedition, Snorri, was the first child to be baptized in America.

Recently the Chancellor of the Diocese of Tromsø, Norway, Ågot Kermit wrote:

"It is with sadness we received the news that the annual Bulletin of the St. Ansgar Scandinavian Catholic League will no longer be published. For many years we have read this well written publication with great interest. When you live in the world's northern most and smallest diocese with regard to the number of Catholics, you often feel that you belong to a forgotten minority. But reading the Bulletin from St. Ansgar's Scandinavian League reminds us that some people in America think of us and pray for us gives us great warmth and gratitude".

Along with the Bulletin, and their prayers, League members have also assisted with financial contributions to scandinavian seminarians, parish priests, bishops and religious congregations. In addition, after World War II, St. Ansgar's was a major contributor to the war relief to all the nordic countries.

For more information regarding the League's celebratory events planned for February, please contact Viggo Rambusch, via fax at 201-433-3355.

KI - Katolsk Informasjonstjeneste (Oslo) (4. januar 2009)

av Webmaster publisert 04.01.2010, sist endret 19.01.2011 - 15:59