Pastor Peter de Jong.
ST. EUSTATIUS–Pastor Peter de Jong will be leaving St. Eustatius Roman Catholic Church in July. He will move to the archdiocese of Kingston, Jamaica, where the Archbishop has invited him to become active in the parish ministry there.
De Jong has served Statia’s Catholic community for almost two years and while announcing his departure during New Year’s Mass, he paid tribute to the “wonderful friends and the great community of Statia that I have had the joy and privilege to serve.”
“It is always difficult to say goodbye,” De Jong said. “The role of a modern-day priest is often one of constant change from one parish to another to meet the needs where required. I am very excited to be posted to another challenge on another Caribbean island.”
His message for the New Year echoed the words of Pope Francis. The Pope’s advice called for “setting aside a moment of silence daily to be with God.” By doing this, it would help “keep our freedom from being corroded by the banality of consumerism, the blare of commercials, the stream of empty words and the overpowering waves of empty chatter and loud shouting.”
De Jong has asked his parishioners to “be open to the Holy Spirit, to do things for others and to bless others. So much is going on in our fast-moving world, yet if we do small things and care for other people, such passion is rewarded in heaven as on earth. We all must make a start and look outwards as well as inwards.”
Ordained a priest in 2006 in Antwerp, Belgium, De Jong first served in Suriname before being posted in Statia in November 2016.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/72459-pastor-de-jong-to-leave-statia-in-july