Diocese of Rotterdam

The Diocese of Rotterdam supports parishes in their commitment to the local community, provides pastoral staff, supports building management and finances. In terms of area, the Rotterdam diocese largely coincides with the province of South Holland.


Pope Benedict writes in the encyclical Deus Caritas Est (2005): "The mission of the Church expresses itself in a threefold task: proclamation of the word of God (kerugma-marturia), celebration of the sacraments (leiturgia) and the service of love (diakonia). These are tasks that mutually presuppose each other and cannot be separated. For the Church, the service of love is not a kind of welfare work that can also be left to others, but belongs to its essence and is an indispensable expression of its being."

The Church of Rotterdam is called to fulfil the threefold mission very concretely in its area. Deeply, the proclamation of the word, the celebration of the sacraments and the ministry of love are part of the one mission that Christ has entrusted to the Church. Thus, the Church of Rotterdam can be a network of love that helps build a civilisation of love, in cooperation with every person of good will.

Patron Saint

When the diocese of Rotterdam was established, on 2 February 1956, the pope chose St Lawrence as the patron saint for the new diocese, as he had traditionally been patron saint of the city of Rotterdam. Saint Laurentius is an important saint for the Church of Rotterdam. He reminds again and again that diaconate, rooted in Christ, must remain a living task and belongs to the mission of the Church. Saint Laurentius (225-258) was born in Spain, but went to Rome and worked there as a deacon. Laurentius is a special saint for the city of Rotterdam and the diocese, where so many people had their birthplace elsewhere.


Bishop of the diocese of Rotterdam is Msgr. Van den Hende.

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Saint Lawrence is patron saint of the Diocese of Rotterdam. (Photo: Ramon Mangold)