Patrick (er, now Fr. Patrick) has been a friend at St. Agnes’ for some time, coming to assist at Mass when he’s able. Today was the great day when he was ordained priest at St. Jan’s Cathedral in Den Bosch. A delegation – by which I mean a rowdy group of parishoners, with a slight emphasis on rowdy – from St. Agnes went along to be present. Most of us were late because even with bringing Saturday Mass forward by an hour, somehow we never seem to be able to get from Amsterdam to Den Bosch in 60 minutes.
We headed off after Mass (and the latecomers finally arrived. Ahem):
Your blogger called shotgun and inbetween taking photos of everyone else in the car, noted what a lovely day it was (though a bit chilly).
Someone brought along a booklet with the older Ordination rite in. It’s not quite clear why, as Patrick, being a diocesan, was ordained in the modern rite. But it was good discussion fodder on the way down; it turned out that your blogger was the one person with the most experience of ordinations in the Novus Ordo and was consequently grilled on it somewhat (“So you have this adsum bit….”).
Eventually Den Bosch appeared on the road signs (except that you won’t see “Den Bosch” itself, because the full name of the city is ” ‘s-Hertogenbosch” – and yes, that apostrophe at the beginning is part of the name. Welcome to Dutch toponymy).
We didn’t take any photos during Mass because we were praying – and there were Official Photographers walking around doing a much better job anyway. After Mass was over and the bishop(s) had processed out, the Agnieters met up at the reception which was kindly put on in the seminary’s back garden. It was sunny, with clear skies, but not so warm as to be uncomfortable.
Fr. K wasn’t ready for his photo call:
There was a long queue to meet our neomist (Fr. Patrick was ordained along with another new priest for the diocese of Den Bosch, Fr. Geoffrey de Jong, who also had a big line of well-wishers waiting to congratulate him); our little group organised itself and passed the time by munching on sausage rolls, laughing and making new friends, and hiding your blogger’s camera.
There was a moment of hilarity shortly afterwards: being Pesky Traddies we all wanted to receive First Blessings from Fr. Kuis and so at our priest’s signal all knelt down on the grass. Fr. Kuis wasn’t aware of this until he turned round and saw a crescent of people grinning up at him. “Amsterdam!!” he exclaimed, we cheered, and then demanded his blessing on each one of us.
Then we all gathered for a photo with Fr. Kuis…
…before heading to a café, yacking away, swapping photos, passing round cookies and generally having a good time.
Many, many congratulations to Fr. Kuis! May Our Lord grant you many fruitful years in the service of His Holy Church, and may Our Blessed Lady forever protect you and all your efforts under the mantle of her prayers.
Fr. Kuis will offer Mass at St. Agnes’ on 24th June this year. He’s assisted at Mass as server, subdeacon and deacon, so it will be a special joy for us when he comes to offer the most holy Sacrifice!