(Text on the monument in Haaksbergen)

After studying at the religious institutions of Roldue, Rijsenburg and Rome dr Alphons Ariéns , who was an inhabitant of Utrecht, was appointed chaplain in Enschede.

Here he committed himself to the working classes, his parishioners, and he developed the church almonry into catholic social action.

Starting in Enschede, he laid the basis for the catholic labour movement by setting up associations for workmen and trade unions, currently mainly part of the FNV(Federation Dutch Trade-Unions) and partly the CNV(Christian National Trade-Union).

He also applied himself to fighting alcohol misuse. The organisation Sobriëtas was born out of this activity.

Together with around 40 unfairly dismissed workers he started up a textile factory ‘De Eendracht’ in Haaksbergen in 1894, which was a co-operative. Despite a large personal commitment from Ariëns himself, this social experiment did not succeed.

In 1901 Ariëns was allocated his own parish in Steenderen bij Zutphen and from 1908 to 1926 he was parish priest in Maarssen near Utrecht.

During this period he stimulated various initiatives and movements, like the catholic women movement, Sobriëtas, the catholic reading facility and the modern mission movement.

Worn out, he withdrew himself in 1926 and died in 1928 in Amersfoort.


1860 Born on 26 April, the fifth of eight children
1870 – 1878 Student at Rolduc near Kerkrade; student of philosophy at Roldue
1878 – 1882 Student of Theology at ‘Rijsenburg’ seminary in Driebergen
1882 15th August ordination in the chapel of Rijsenburg
1882 – 1886 Student church law, dogmatics and philosophy in Rome
1886 30th September chaplain in the parish of Saint-Jacobus in Enschede
1886 – 1901 Chaplain in Enschede
1889 24th November creation of the R.C. Association for workers ‘Saint Joseph’
1891 Creation of the R.C. ‘Sint-Severus’ union for factory workers in Twente
1893 In January the monthly catholic magazine ‘Werkman’ appears
1894 – 1901 Co-operative weaving mill ‘De Eendracht’ in Haaksbergen
1895 25th May establishment of ‘Kruisverbond Sobrietas and Maria-Association to deal with alcohol misuse
1901 – 1908 Pastor in Steenderen near Zutphen
1908 – 1926 Pastor in Maarssen near Utrecht
1919 Papal award ‘Honorary chaplain of the pope’
1921 21st February establishment of the foundation ‘Geert Grote’ in Utrecht
1926 Emeritus-pastor; moves to convent Sisters of St-Jozef in Amersfoort
1928 7th August Mgr. Alphons Ariëns dies in Amersfoort at the age of 68; funeral on 11th August in Maarssen.

Memorial in Enschede

In 1955 a ’Twents Ariéns Comité’ was formed. Since that time a memorial service takes place every year in Enschede, initially in the Holy Heart church (Ariëns memorial church), later in various churches throughout Twente. Since 1986 the annual memorial service is held in the Jacobus church in Enschede. The fixed day of the third Sunday in November was chosen because in 1889 Ariëns had formed the Roman Catholic Association of Workers around this day.

In 1994 part of the Jacobus church was refurbished as the Ariéns chapel. In 2009 it was combined with the Mary chapel and since then it has been known as the Maria-Ariëns chapel. This chapel is open every day and is regularly visited.

Memorial elsewhere

Regular remembrance services also take place in other locations where Ariëns was active. Since 1935 a yearly pilgrimage to his grave in Maarssen is held where a memorial service takes place. Local memorials also exist in Steenderen where Ariëns was parish priest from 1901 to 1908.

Association Het Ariéns-Comité
Office:    Anninksweg
                7557 AH Hengelo

The Ariëns-Comité encourages interest in the clergyman Alphons Ariëns as a person with excellent leadership qualities regarding religious and social activities relevant even today by:

  • Holding regular meetings

  • Issuing publications

  • Co-ordination of activities

  • Collecting witness statements

For more information over the life of Alphons Ariëns in the form of a book, brochure or other media please get in touch with the council of the Association ‘Het Ariëns-Comité.

More information is also available on our website:


Financial support in the process to declare sainthood for Alphons Ariëns in Rome, the following bank details can be used: IBAN NL67 RABO 0118 0417 38