Folkert-Henricus de Jong (sometime Father Hyacinthus), died at Bad Homburg, Germany, on 25 September 2013, aged 93 years

Born at Leeuwarden in Friesland, Holland, on 8 July 1920, he was professed as a Dominican on 20 October 1943, but subsequently left the Roman Catholic Church and married Sylvia Köth. He was ordained a priest on 8 July 1947 by Bishop Philippus (Abbinga) of the Oosters Apostolisch Episcopale Kerk, which was at that time in communion with the late Metropolitan Georgius of Glastonbury. When Abbinga seceded, most of his clergy placed themselves under the late Thomas-Marie (Lutgen), Archbishop of Antwerp. On 1 March 1952 he joined the Secular Order of St. Dominic of which Archbishop Lutgen was the Superior. In 1954 was appointed pastor of the parish in Amsterdam, but in 1960 relocated to Germany. By the time that the late Archbishop Thomas-Marie Lutgen of Antwerp died in 1985, he was the only surviving priest of that once extensive diocese and he then came directly under Abba Seraphim. When the British Orthodox Church united with the Coptic Patriarchate in 1994 he asked to remain under Abba Seraphim’s oversight and on 14 October 1995 Abba Seraphim travelled to Kronberg to formally receive him and, the next day, raised him to the rank of Hegoumenos at Saint Antonios Kloster at Kroffelbach.  With the agreement of Pope Shenouda, he was permitted to remain under Abba Seraphim’s jurisdiction but to work with the German clergy under His Grace Bishop Damian. This continued until the sudden death of his wife, on 20 March 1997. Following this he suffered a long period of depression, after which he went travelling in Africa, hoping to find his brother, who had emigrated to South Africa many years before. It was here he met his second wife, Anastasia Mary Wambua, a Kenyan, whom he married in April 1998. In accordance with the canon law of the Coptic Church, which does not permit priests to remarry, he was laicised and lived out his final years in retirement.

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