OCAC Europe
Bishop Paula-Willemijn van Rooijen
Bishop Paula_Willemijn van Rooijen- OCAC Europe

Paula-Willimijn van Rooijen - OCAC Bishop of EuropeBishop Paula-Willemijn van Rooijen is the bishop of the Old Catholic Apostolic Church's Diocese of Europe.

Amma Paula-Willemijn served alongside the late Bishop Louise Lombard as priest-celebrant (which is the 'public' role of priest in De Jong Ritus) and continued the work. Elected on 29th January 2020 she becomes the Ordinary for the OCAC Diocese of Europe.
She was consecrated at the OCAC 2022 UK & Europe synod at Wimborne Minster after her consecration was delayed due to the Covid Pandemic.

Bishop Paula-Willemijn writes:
In the early years of this millennium I received an ‘inner calling.’ A loud, clear and immanently trustworthy voice spoke: ‘It is meant for you to serve in that church’. It took my breath away and shook me to the core. It was a bit awkward, not only to experience this out-of-the-blue, but more so because I never had felt the need to participate in a Christian Church. I had read a lot about religion and philosophy in my life. But I also was very interested in technology, since I trained as an electronic engineer and have worked on data connections in the field of telecommunication for a wide range of customers.

By ‘that church’ I mean the Liberal Catholic Church in the Netherlands. During those years that church was working on the realization of the ordination of women. One Sunday I visited and stayed afterwards. That led to my joining, I was ordained Cleric and have been serving at the altar ever since.

During the years within the Liberal Catholic Church I received the ordinations of Doorkeeper, Reader, Exorcist, Acolyte, Sub deacon and Deacon. I participated in several parishes, served as board member on several boards of parishes. For about ten years I oversaw the organisation and of the consecration of the Holy Oils on Maudy Thursday. I have been the senior editor for five years of a quarterly glossy that was published by the church. I took part in the Institute of Study for the clergy, where I received among others a vast body of knowledge and participated in the liturgical training. For several years I publicly celebrated as deacon a revised Holy Mass with the reserved Sacrament.

Bishop Paula of OCAC Europe ordains
Paula-Willemijn with Bishop LouiseIn my secular life I went back to study: The purpose and meaning of life and spirituality (higher vocational education). Slowly I began to drift away from the Liberal Catholic Church that had been my spiritual home for so many years. I feel it is almost impossible to give you an impression in written words of the nuances that led to this drift. The result was that I took stock and began looking around for a new, better fitting, spiritual home. One of the possibilities was the Orde van de Jonge Ritus. When I visited a celebration with Bishop Louise it clicked. She also had a part of her spiritually formative years in the Liberal Catholic Church. We spoke not only ‘the same language’ in that respect, very soon our deep spiritual connection clicked. Bishop Louise ordained me priest and authorised me as celebrant.
It is with deep regret that, after so short a time, I am called to be the successor to her. We thought we would have more time, to work together, to explore, to strengthen our church, to grow as a church and in our serving.

It is with deep gratitude that I accept the endorsement of others to be the successor of Bishop Louise and it is with deep gratitude to God, who has led and sustained me on this path.

Bishop Paula at OCAC UK synod 2023