Joyful Renewal: A Story From the Netherlands

Ordained only one year ago, Father Erik is at St. Titus Brandsma in Wageningen, an amalgamated parish (collapsed from 11 churches down to six) in the Netherlands – a country all too familiar with parish decline.

But while in seminary, this young priest read Divine Renovation: Bringing your parish from maintenance to mission, and attended last year’s Missionary Parish Conference in the Netherlands and was determined to enter the priesthood already focused on mission.

Despite entering a dire situation in his region, he is incredibly joyful! He says, “The priesthood brings this happiness to my life.” Through Divine Renovation, he sees the path forward and, with his Pastor, is taking action. They are relying on the Holy Spirit to transform a seemingly hopeless situation to one teeming with possibility.