The reasons given for this step included the increase in the number of Dutch vocations, and the political tension between the two countries, Belgium and Holland. In 1895 the Province of Holland commenced with twenty-four priests (five of whom had been ordained that same year) and sixteen clerical professed.
The Province of Holland began with Augustinian communities in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven, aside from a residence in Nieuwendam (Amsterdam). The apostolate of the Province centred on pastoral work in the parishes of the cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht, and in Wirmarsum and Nieuwendam, and in the public church (but not a parish) in the busy city of Eindhoven.
Subsequently the Dutch Province founded communities in Venlo in 1920, Haarlem (1922), Nijmegen (1925), and Culemnborg (1936). Much later more parishes were accepted or erected, and in 1945 pastoral responsibility for the homeless in the cities of Utrecht, Nijmegen and Eindhoven was accepted.
The number of schools run by the Province progressively increased through the years, reaching a maximum of six (Eindhoven, Venlo, two in Haarlem, Schiedam and Amsterdam), and the number of parishes rose to seventeen. In Witmarsum (parish and novitiate), which was located in the northern part of the country and where ecumenical movement was strong, a center for religious and cultural formation for the adults (1947) was established.
In 1930 the mission in Bolivia started, and in 1951 in Papua, Indonesia. Piet van Diepen O.S.A. became the first bishop of the diocese of Manokwari-Sorong in Papua (in 1966-1988).
Since 1953, fourteen Dutch Augustinians have served there, and many of them did so for decades. This includes the three who are still there in 2010, and two of them have taken out Indonesian citizenship.
(Continued on the next page.)