The Daily Herald – Welcome Service for the New Catholic Priest

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The new Catholic parish priest Lukas Batmomolin (center) with the president of the Roman Catholic parish council Maxine Spanner-Suares (left) and Ricardo Fortin.

ST. EUSTATE – A welcome service was held for newly arrived parish priest Lukas Batmomolin at the Saint-Eustache Roman Catholic Church on Sunday, October 24.

Batmomolin was born in Indonesia and worked in Chicago, Illinois for over 14 years and has his US citizenship. Due to unforeseen circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Roman Catholic parish of Statia was without a priest for some time. During this time, Ricardo Fortin took over some of the priest’s tasks, such as directing services.

During Sunday mass, a welcome letter from Bishop Luis Secco was read by the president of the Roman Catholic Parish Council of Statia, Maxine Spanner-Suares.

Spanner-Suares also welcomed Batmomolin and said the parish council was “very grateful” for choosing “to join” Statia and looked forward to working alongside him.

In his letter, Bishop Secco said that he would have very much liked to meet Father Batmomolin personally and introduce him to the inhabitants of Statia, “but due to the current pandemic situation, the trips are not easy”, but as soon as the circumstances permit, he is eager to meet him.

Secco said he knew the residents of Statia had welcomed their new priest to the island and were “extremely delighted” to have him as their parish administrator. The bishop wished Batmomolin “wisdom and joy” and assured him of his “continuous prayers, support and health for any need he may encounter in the future”.

Batmomolin thanked Bishop Secco for his kind words and the congregation for opening their hearts by welcoming him to the island. He thanked Fortin for his role in introducing the parish and the island. He said that Fortin played a very important role in the process of introduction to the parish. He said his first impression of Statia made him feel at home. In the United States, he worked in the provincial and missionary offices of the church.

“It was time for me to experience something new, and God guided me to a new experience here with you on this island. I’m very happy, and I’m completely unpacked, which means I’m not leaving.


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