Congratulations, Deacon Patrick!

The title of this post is a little bit premature, but some three hours from now, a friend of mine will be ordained to the diaconate. Sadly, I am unable to be present at the Mass in the cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in ‘s Hertogenbosch, but I do plan to be present at his ordination to the priesthood some time next year.

So for now i’ll limit myself to some heartfelt congratulations to soon-to-be-Deacon Patrick!

As a man who knows both forms of the Latin rite well, with a heart for the faith and the Catholic life, the new deacon will be a great asset to the parish of St. John the Evangelist.

Similar congratulations also go out to Deacons Maciej Sendecki and Eugène Dassen, who will be ordained to the priesthood of Haarlem-Amsterdam and Roermond, respectively, today.

The class of 2011

Belgian weekly Tertio has polled the various dioceses in the Netherlands (and Flanders) about the number of ordinations taking place this year. After thirteen ordinations to the priesthood in 2010, this year the number drops to a mere six. Also unlike last year, the ordinations are spread out more over the year. Two of them have already taken place: Fr. Karel Donders was ordained in Utrecht on 14 May, and Fr. Tjitze Tjepkema followed in Groningen on 21 May.

The four remaining priestly ordinations will take place on 18 June for Maciej Sendecki (Haarlem-Amsterdam) and Eugène Dassen (Roermond), and 29 October for Pascal Huiting and Maurits Damsté (both Groningen-Leeuwarden). A final unusual element is the fact that Groningen-Leeuwarden, the diocese with the smallest number of Catholic faithful, provides half of this year’s harvest.

Fr. Tjitze Tjepkema and Deacons Pascal Huiting and Maurits Damsté during their ordination in the cathedral in Groningen

In addition to the six ordinations to the priesthood, there will also be ordinations to the diaconate, both permanent and transitional: seven in Haarlem-Amsterdam (four permanent, three transitional), two in ‘s Hertogenbosch (both transitional) and four in Roermond (all transitional). The class of 2012 will then number at least nine and hopefully herald a renewed increase over the following years.