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    Our dear departed

    André Halluent

    André Halluent

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    Frederic Vital Mees smallAndré Halluent (1924-2020)

     

    Born in Gosselies (B) on October 22, 1924
    First vows on September 8, 1943
    Ordained priest on October 24, 1948
    Missionary in Congo (KIN) and in Belgium
    Died in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw (B) on August 21, 2020, at the age of 95.


    “Thank you” is the last word of Father André. A word of grati­tude that was part of his life. In his final days, the doctor, the nurse, the caregivers, and our­selves, his confreres, were able to benefit from his thanks.

    When you offer Father André a cup of coffee, or you take him to his room, you do not leave him without receiving a word of thanks. He would even make the gesture with his big hands to express gratitude. The testimony of our volunteer Jacqueline: “To all of you here present and to the fathers of Scheut, I wish you my condolences. What I remember about Father André is that last spring, he appreciated the concert given by his cousin that you had organized. He also enjoyed each visit in silence and was very grateful to everyone. May he rest in peace”.

    “An Instrument of Peace”

    Concrete life and the Lord made Father André a man of peace. The words of St. Francis of Assisi were his mental nourishment and vitality of heart: "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Wherever there is offense, let me put love.

    “He turns to the other”

    On the last day, Father André turns to whoever was close to him. On August 20, the members of the community were in the chapel for the Eucharist. He asked the nurse Marika: “Why are you staying here”? The same morning, he asked, “Why does it take so long before you can close your eyes”? This last gesture and his last words give us a profound summary of the totality of his missionary, religious, and priestly life.

    “Twenty-one years in the Diocese of Boma - RD Congo” (1949-1970)

    A young missionary, religious, and priest in the parishes of Kidima, Temvo, Nganda Tsundi, Lukula. Founder of the parish of Lukula.

    “Thirty years in the parish of Strépy-Bracquegnies” (1975-1989; 1992-2007)

    It is the Central Region; it is the Canal; it is coal mining. He was the vicar and the auxiliary priest of this particular people. Father André 'with a heart of gold' was there as a presence in the hands of God. There he was God's envoy to listen to the people with his connection to the Lord.

    Father André was a photogra­pher. He had dozens of beautiful slides from the Central Region. Everything was entrusted to the “Cercle d'Histoire” of Strépy et Bracquegnies.

    A global testimony tells us: “He was appreciated for his devotion and his good humor”.

    What more can I say about Father André's active life? Nothing. Father André was very discreet. He never said: “at home in Boma”, “at home in Bracquegnies”, “when I was”. He actualized the words of the Gospel of Matthew 25:31-46.

    ·      I saw the hunger of my people; I gave them food...
    ·      I have heard and listened to the cry of my people...
    ·      I brought this cry to God.
    ·      I gave a drink...
    ·      I have given the Word of God in abundance.
    ·      I have accompanied the sick.
    ·      I have been with them to walk with them.
    ·      The workers imprisoned in the galleries of the colliery; I went towards them.

    Jesus said to Father André

    Come, you who are blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom that has been prepared for you.

    Father André planned his life

    He decided to join the commu­nity of Jambes in 2007 to stay there. In May 2008, he joined the community in Embourg be­cause the house in Jambes was sold. In Embourg, he accepted to be vice-rector, with me as rector, and treasurer of the community when Father André was 82 years old! In 2015, he joined the community of Zuun. He was pre­sent in the community and faith­ful to the life of prayer and fra­ternity. Let us remember the dialogues he had during the 'potus' with Father Tinus.


    Yes, Lord

    Father André, good and faithful servant. He has entered the Kingdom. “It is by giving, by for­getting himself, by forgiving” (prayer of St. Francis). It is by dying that he resurrects with You, Lord. ■

    by Alfons Ysebaert

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