Prayer vigil for ‘all nascent life’ – the Dutch response

Driven by curiosity, I perused the websites of the Dutch dioceses, as well as the social media at my disposal, to see how Pope Benedict XVI’s request that the bishops of the world hold a prayer vigil for “all nascent life” on the 27th of November is received in the Netherlands. The result is pretty meagre, to be honest.

The Archdiocese of Utrecht and the dioceses of Breda and Roermond present scheduled prayer vigils, as well as the FSSP-run church of St. Agnes. Individual parishes here and there are also organising, but it’s not as much as could have been.

EDIT: The Diocese of Rotterdam and the parishes of St Barnabas in Haastrecht and Blessed Sacrament in Tilburg  also join the effort.

EDIT 2: Frederick reports that the St. John’s seminary in Den Bosch is also organising a vigil.

EDIT 3: Happy news during the announcements at Mass in my parish today: all Dutch cathedrals will host prayer vigils on the 27th, even those who have yet failed to advertise it.

So, bishops, priest, laity (yes, every Catholic is called by the pope to pray for life): get to it! There is still time to organise something.

Father Z muses about the meaning of the word ‘nascent’ in the pope’s call:

“I like the use of the word “nascent”.   The very form, from the Latin deponent verb “nascor… to be born” suggests ongoing action.  The -sc- element is inchoative: ongoing, beginning, not yet complete.  That is to say, from the moment of conception the newly conceived person begins the process of being born.  Sure, we identify different stages of development and birth.  But from this other point of view, which I hear in “nascent human life”, every abortion would be a partial birth abortion.”

A new deacon

Tomorrow our diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden will gain a new transitional deacon: Mr. Tjitze Tjepkema (46) will receive the ordination from the hands of Bishop Gerard de Korte at the church of St. Boniface in Leeuwarden. In May or June of next year he will be ordained to the priesthood.

Mr. Tjepkema is a former Protestant minister who became a Catholic in 2007, only a few months after me. He studied for the diaconate and priesthood in Italy and has already started working in parishes in the south of the province of Drenthe.

As a sign of his duty to proclaim the Gospel, a deacon receives the word of God at his ordination

Photo credit: Sarah K. McIntyre