St. Maarten to host to the Annual Pastoral Conference

St. Maarten will be host to the Annual Pastoral Conference of the Diocese of Willemstad of the Roman Catholic Church comprising the six islands: Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten. 

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The Pastoral Conference is the meeting of all Roman Catholic Priests, some 40 in total who serve on all the six islands.

Every year the clergy and diocesan officials meet with the Bishop, Monsignor Luis Secco, SDB for the five day conference to discuss issues concerning the Diocese and Church.

The annual meetings alternate on one of the six islands.

This year’s Conference will be held on St. Maarten from October 18th until Friday October 22th. at the Sonesta Great Bay Resort Hotel.

The Conference opens on Monday October 18th at 3.00 pm with a short ceremony after which the clergy and diocesan officials will immediately get into the working sessions.

Besides attending a number of working sessions, the clergy will celebrate with parishioners of the local Church as well.

On Monday evening October 18th at 6.30 pm, the priests will celebrate with members of St. Maarten of Tours Church in Philipsburg; music ministry led by "Body and Soul Band". Various local dignitaries will also be invited to attend this special Holy Mass.

On Tuesday October 19th the priests will celebrate Mass with members of Risen Christ Church in South Reward; music will be led by the Haitian Catholic Community.

On Thursday, October 21st the priests will join the church community of Mary Star of the Sea in Simpson Bay at 6.30 pm. Music will be led by Dr. Albertine Mathurin-Jurgensen, and Fr. Bob Johnson.

All Catholics are encouraged to attend as many of these celebrations as possible; and of course, anyone else interested in attending is most certainly welcome.

On Wednesday October 20th the priests will be treated to an enjoyable "Lagoon Cruise". During this cruise church members will get the opportunity to mingle with the priests and show them a great St. Maarten hospitality. Church members are encouraged to purchase tickets for the Cruise at US$50.00 per person and tickets will be on sale at the following locations: The Parish Office, the Catholic Book Store on Front Street or at the Center for Catechesis on Back Street.

The Cruise will take off near the Boat House Restaurant in Simpson Bay.

There will be food, drinks and music.

The Diocesan Conference ends on Friday morning October 22nd when all clergy and officials return to their respective islands.

Wally Havertong

In Charge of PR