New Roman Catholic parish priest Lukas Batmomolin (centre) with Roman Catholic Parish Council president Maxine Spanner-Suares (left) and Ricardo Fortin.
ST. EUSTATIUS--A welcome service was held for newly-arrived parish priest Lukas Batmomolin at the Roman Catholic Church in St. Eustatius on Sunday, October 24.
Batmomolin was born in Indonesia and has worked in Chicago, Illinois, for more than 14 years and has his U.S. citizenship. Due to unforeseen circumstances because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Statia’s Roman Catholic parish was without a priest for quite some time. Meanwhile, Ricardo Fortin took over some of the priest’s tasks, such as conducting services.
During Sunday’s Mass, a letter of welcome by Bishop Luis Secco was read by Statia’s Roman Catholic Parish Council’s president Maxine Spanner-Suares.
Spanner-Suares also welcomed Batmomolin and said the Parish Council is “very grateful” that he has chosen “to join” Statia and is looking forward to working alongside him.
In his letter, Bishop Secco said he would have very much liked to meet Father Batmomolin personally and to introduce him to the people of Statia, “but due to the present pandemic situation travel is not easy,” but as soon as circumstances allow, he looks forward to meeting him.
Secco said he knows that the people of Statia have welcomed their new priest to the island and are “exceedingly delighted” to have him as their parochial administrator. The bishop wished Batmomolin “wisdom and joy” and assured him of his “continued prayers, support and health for any need he might encounter in the future.”
Batmomolin thanked Bishop Secco for his kind words and the congregation for opening their hearts in welcoming him to the island. He thanked Fortin for his role in introducing him to the parish and the island. He said Fortin has been very instrumental in the introduction process to the parish. He said his first impression of Statia made him feel at home. In the US he worked in the church’s provincial and mission offices.
“It was about time that I experienced something new, and God has guided me to a new experience here with you in this island. I am very happy, and I am fully unpacked, which means that I’m not leaving.”