St Irenaeus Orthodox Theological Institute

Study day Orthodox prison chaplains

On October 3rd, 2023, the rector of St Ireneaus, Fr Micheal Bakker gave a day of training to the team of Orthodox prison chaplains in The Netherlands. They have been providing pastoral care to detainees and holding Orthodox church services in Dutch prisons for over ten years. The  team saw a number of new faces  in recent years and the members received permanent contracts since the recognition of the Orthodox Representative Organ (Orthodoxe Zendende Instantie) in 2022. The team currently has six priests (backgrounds: Greek, Coptic, Antiochian, Russian, Romanian) and a female  chaplain (Syrian). Students who choose to continue their studies after our pre-master with the (Dutch-language) master Spiritual Care can also find work in healthcare institutions. The Orthodox Representative Organ has requested the Dutch government to also provide Orthodox spiritual care to the Ministry of Defense.