Twelve new men of God

On Saturday 29 May a total of 12 men in four dioceses will be ordained to the priesthood. They all have their stories and backgrounds. Some were born and raised in Catholic families, some in Protestant ones. Some have gone through atheist phases. They have been teachers, bank employees, salesmen, and one has even lived his life as a Protestant minister and now, aged 80, he will join the ranks of Christ’s priests. From these different backgrounds they have all heard God’s voice calling them to serve Him in His Church, and they have said ‘yes’. 

I will attend the ordination of Deacons Anton ten Klooster and Wouter de Paepe in Utrecht, and perhaps I’ll be able to share some photos here later. 

In the mean time, the two aforementioned deacons, as well as Deacons Hans van der Donk, Theo Lamers, Jacques Grubben, Francis De Meyer (all Diocese of ‘s Hertogenbosch), Ignas van Rosmalen, Patrick Lipsch (Diocese of Roermond), Pawel Banaszak, Elroy Kaak, Hans Schouten and Bruno Sestito (Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam) will benefit from our prayer as they prepare for the day of their lives. 

Future priests: Hans van der Donk, Theo Lamers, Jacques Grubben and Francis De Meyer.


O Jesus, eternal Priest,
keep your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart,
where none may touch them.

Keep unstained their anointed hands,
which daily touch Your Sacred Body.

Keep unsullied their lips,
daily purpled with your Precious Blood.

Keep pure and unearthly their hearts,
sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood.

Let Your holy love surround them and
shield them from the world’s contagion.

Bless their labors with abundant fruit and
may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here and in heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown. Amen.

St. Therese of Lisieux

St. Joseph cathedral turns 123 today

123 years ago today, on 25 May 1887, the church of St. Joseph was consecrated by Msgr. Pieter Snickers, the Archbishop of Utrecht. At the time, Groningen was part of his archdiocese. The church was built for the people of the then newly built Oosterpoort area of the city, where mainly working class families lived. Hence the choice of St. Joseph the Worker as patron of the church.

Over the course of the years the interior of the church developed into what we know today: stained-glass windows, rich colours and beautiful altar pieces. In 1974 the St. Joseph church became a national monument and in 1980 it became the cathedral of the Diocese of Groningen, which had been created from the Archdiocese of Utrecht in 1955. Originally, the cathedral had been the St. Martin across from the Academy building of the university – now the site of the University library – but that was ultimately sold and demolished.

The cathedral is a design by renowned architect Pierre Cuypers, also responsible for many other churches, as well as the train stations in Groningen and Amsterdam, and also the Rijksmuseum.

On the date of a church’s consecration we celebrate the fact that we not only have a physical building to celebrate the Eucharist and other sacraments in, but also that Christ established His Church for His people, and that we are part of it.