URGENT! Only 3 days left! We must still match $2,050 to win a $25,400 Challenge Grant! Can you help?
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dutch Treat

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Jan 25, 2010

Since I’ve been trying to watch Catholic affairs carefully since 1966 (my freshman year of college), you’d think I’d know these things. But as fully aware as I was, in the years following the Second Vatican Council, of the near total drift into Modernism of the Church in the Netherlands, I don’t think I ever realized that the Dutch shut down all their seminaries in 1967.

The reigning theory, of course, was that priests had to become more relevant to the world, and that the way to make this happen was to educate them in the world like everybody else. Any unbiased observer would have realized that this, along with all the rest of the tomfoolery, would be the death knell for Dutch vocations. And so it proved.

In 1997, however, a new seminary was founded in the Netherlands for the diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam, Willibrord House, under the leadership of bishop Joseph Punt and the Rector, Msgr. Dr. Jan Hendryks. At this point, the number of formal seminarians is only fifteen for three dioceses, though two Benedictines and twenty-three members of the Redemptoris Mater movement are also in residence. Classes there are open to those who live in other houses of formation as well.

The shift from shutting seminaries down in 1967 to the restoration and growth of a new seminary beginning in 1997 makes the Dutch situation something of an intense microcosm of the Church as a whole. The Church in the Netherlands has a long way to go. Indeed, things never got quite as bad elsewhere. But believe me, if the Dutch can make a comeback, so can we all.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($2,050 to go):
$25,400.00 $23,349.71
8% 92%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jan. 25, 2010 8:09 PM ET USA

    Good observation that deserves notice. In times of critical needs, vocations arise to the challenge often in unexpected places and most often with a great gift of the Spirit within themselves. If we don't see the hand of God and the action of the Spirit in this, I think we are blind in our faith. Thanks for signaling us in the right direction.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Urgent! We need extra financial support between now and May 24th. 6 hours ago
What's wrong with these pictures? 10 hours ago
What can we learn from the dignity of military services? 11 hours ago
Was Lewis “basically Catholic”? May 21
Reading The Diary of a Country Priest: Scandal May 20

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days