[Edit at bottom of text]
The past few weeks have again seen a number of ordinations of new deacons and priests in the dioceses of northwestern Europe. 24 of them, in 13 (arch)dioceses, to be exact. In total, the area in question (the countries of Germany, the Netherlands, the Flemish part of Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland) is covered by 46 dioceses or similar circumscriptions, which means that 33 of them had no deacons (permanent or transitional) or priests to ordain on or around Vocations Sunday.
Of the newly ordained, 6 are permanent deacons, 14 are transitional deacons and 4 are priests. At the time of writing, all but one ordination have already taking place: only Utrecht’s Deacon Ronald den Hartog’s ordination is yet to take place, on 21 May.
While most new deacons and priests are natives of the dioceses in question, several have come from abroad. Fr. Ettien N’Guessan, ordained on 30 April in Ypres, Diocese of Bruges, comes from Côte D’Ivoire and ended up in Belgium after deciding that there was a need for priests there. Originally, he had come to study the language for a year.
Deacon Emanuele Cimbaro is an Italian member of the Neocatechumenal Way, while Deacons Lukasz Puchala and Wojciech Gofryk are both Polish.
Deacon Jesús Mauricio Meneses Santiago (pictured, fourth from the left) is Colombian. He came to the Archdiocese of Utrecht as one of four religious, wanting to do something in return for the Dutch missionaries who had come to Colombia in the past. His three fellow religious returned home over the years, but Deacon Meneses Santiago decided to stay. He says: “That was not an easy choice. But I wanted to remain true to my calling. And I am happy. The Netherlands have stolen my heart and I feel at home here. My vocation is God’s initiative, I am here for a reason. I will continue this mission that God has entrusted me with.”
The full list, per diocese, of the newly ordained:
Diocese of Augsburg, ordained by Bishop Konrad Zdarsa
- Deacon (trans.) Simon Fleischmann
- Deacon (trans.) André Harder
- Deacon (trans.) Tobias Seyfried
Archdiocese of Berlin, ordained by Bishop Matthias Heinrich
- Deacon (trans.) Emanuele Cimbaro
Diocese of Bruges, ordained by Bishop Lode Aerts
- Father Ettien Léon N’Guessan
Diocese of Dresden-Meißen, ordained by Bishop Heinrich Timmerevers
- Deacon Lukasz Puchala
- Deacon Jens Bulisch
Diocese of Eichstätt, ordained by Bishop Gregor Maria Hanke
- Father Thomas Attensberger
- Father Kilian Schmidt
- Father Robert Willmann
Diocese of Erfurt, ordained by Bishop Reinhard Hauke
- Deacon (trans.) Philip Theuermann
Diocese of Essen, ordained by Bishop Wilhelm Zimmermann
- Deacon (trans.) Fabian Lammers
Diocese of Fulda, ordained by Bishop Karlheinz Diez
- Deacon (trans.) André Lemmer
- Deacon Wojciech Gofryk
- Deacon Stefan Ohnesorge
- Deacon Ewald Vogel
Diocese of Görlitz, ordained by Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt
- Deacon (trans.) Markus Schwitalla
Diocese of Mainz, ordained by Bishop Udo Bentz
- Deacon (trans.) Simon Krost
Archdiocese of Paderborn, ordained by Bishop Manfred Grothe
- Deacon (trans.) Johannes Sanders
- Deacon (trans.) Christian Schmidtke (at right with Bishop Grothe)
- Deacon (trans.) Daniël Waschenbach
Diocese of Roermond, ordained by Bishop Everard de Jong
Archdiocese of Utrecht, ordained by Wim Cardinal Eijk
- Deacon (trans.) Jesús Mauricio Meneses Santiago
- Deacon (trans.) Ronald den Hartog
Edit: This post has drawn a lot of attention, which is fine. But it is perhaps good to remember that, while I do mention that a fair number of dioceses have had no ordinations in recent weeks, this does by no means mean that they will have none this year at all. Although the weeks around Vocations Sunday traditionally feature many ordinations, especially to the diaconate, there is no rule that these can’t take place at other moments in the year. The list I present here is therefore no complete list, and dioceses may announce ordinations to take place in the coming weeks and months.
With this blog post, I wanted to offer some reflection of the new priests and deacons being ordained, and although the priest shortage is real and a matter of concern, that is not what my blog post is about.
Also, the 14 transitional deacons in my list will be ordained to the priesthood later this year, joining the four priests already ordained, and those who will be ordained at other moments this year.
Photo credit:  Aartsbisdom Utrecht, , Bistum Eichstätt,  pdp/Thomas Throenle