1681, artist unknown, oil on canvas, 98 x 66 cm
Petrus Parmentier (1601-1681), an Augustinian priest, comes to Amsterdam in 1636 as a missionary. He has few personal possessions and little money. In Amsterdam, he struggles to fulfil his mission without a church, building from scratch. He begins by holding mass in private homes of Catholics. Thirty years on, Catholics are in a far better situation. Their private churches are tolerated by the Protestant city fathers. Entire Catholic churches are built surreptitiously in attics and warehouses, invisible to the outside world. In 1664, Parmentier is the first priest at the attic church on Heintje Hoekssteeg, built between 1661 and 1663 by Jan Hartman (1619-1668).