About Us

Short History * Colophon * General Information

A Short History

In the Netherlands, hermitages have almost always been attached to shrines in the countryside. Of these, only the one in Warfhuizen, a hamlet in the far north of the country, is currently inhabited by an official Roman Catholic hermit, Father Hugo. He lives the traditional life of looking after his shrine and, in a way, becoming one with it. His kind has always been very sober and practical. They are sometimes described as glorified sacristans. They love polishing copper, starching altar cloths and arranging flowers. Of course, he also says Mass, hears confessions and sings the holy office.

As it happens, Fr. Hugo studied Church History at the Catholic University of Louvain (KU Leuven) with a specialisation in Mystical Theology. This subject suddenly turned out to have become all the rage with quite a few parishioners and students in the nearby city of Groningen. The hermit was kindly asked to take a break from his mops and his seclusion and ended up teaching about Eckhart, Hadewych and Dionysius the Areopagite to ever growing classrooms. Then, of course, the coronavirus hit the region in 2020, and the whole operation was forced to go online. That brought a lot of students from other parts of the Netherlands to our initiative, and made it impossible to return to the old situation once the epidemic had subsided.  

All our materials are produced in-house, most of them by Father Hugo himself. Thanks to modern technology, practically everything can take place in the hermitage or its immediate surroundings. This allows him to continue his contemplative life in peace and still teach to an ever-growing audience. Friendly audio and video professionals taught him the basics of filming, recording and even composing soundtracks. They still drop by regularly to help him maintain a surprisingly high level of production value.


Structure. Staff Members. advisory committee

Sanctificium is an initiative of the Marianum Foundation (Marianum - School voor de Ziel) which is a non-profit organisation recognised by the Dutch government (ANBI).  

Staff Members

Els Toxopeus

General Organisation, Secretariate

Fr. Hugo Beuker, hermit