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Netherlands: diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden, parishes merged together. “Vulnerable and Confident” programme

“The diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden has two new parishes”: this is how the website of the diocese, located north of the Netherlands, announced the new step in the merger of the parishes in the two diocesan vicariates, which are now 30. They were 84 in 2012. The reorganisation approved in 2011 states that in 2018 the total number of parishes must be 19, 10 in the vicariate of Groningen-Drenthe and 9 in the vicariate of Friesland-Noordoostpolder. The two parishes born of the recent merger are dedicated to Hildegard of Bingen and Our Lady of Drenthe, but each parish church “will keep their old name”, as explained in a note on the diocese’s website. “Mergers of parishes are the result of the diocesan programme called ‘vulnerable and confident’, that tries to strengthen the administrative dimension”, it goes on. “Livelier parishes are better equipped, through new missionary and diaconal initiatives, to build a bridge between the Church and the world”. The programme will relieve priests of their administrative duties, “so they will have more time for their parishioners”. The episcopal see of Groningen-Leeuwarden has been vacant since March 2016, because Bishop Gerard De Korte, who had launched the project, was transferred to the diocese of ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Boscoducale).


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