Contact Us  |  

    Our dear departed

    Gerard Henderyck

    Gerard Henderyck

    Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

    Frederic Vital Mees smallGerard Henderyck (1933-2021)


    Born in Veurne, (Belgium) on August 14, 1933

    He was a missionary in Indonesia and Belgium.

    Died in Torhout (Belgium) on August 31, 2021,

    at the age of 88.


    Father Gerard was proud that his father and mother and the rest of his family had instilled in him a strong sense of friendship and wealth of life wisdom.

    He attended Veurne High School before following his brother Jef (1928–2000) to Scheut. Godelieve, his sister, soon followed her two brothers to the mission, joining the Immaculate Heart of Mary (ICM) sisters and served in Congo.

    Gerard began his studies at the Lumen Vitae catechetical center. He arrived in Indonesia in 1960 and did what every missionary before him had done: adapted to the climate and studied the language. He was appointed to Makassar’s minor seminary, where he devoted his best to forming young people, gardening with his students, founding a brass band, and performing plays. He was not given many years because, after six years, he was forced to return to Belgium due to his illness. Gerard took on assignments based on what he had learned during his mission: he accompanied youth retreats at our house at Kessel-Lo for three years and the young confreres who underwent their formation in Kortrijk for two years.

    He made a second attempt to be a missionary in Indonesia in 1971. Despite this, he had to give it up after only two years for the same reason and became a permanent missionary in his native country. From 1975 through 1990, he worked as a chaplain at Deurne’s Our Lady of Vrouw Middelares Hospital. That was the time when he blossomed the greatest. Then, from 1990 until 1994, he was a pastor at Waarmaarde, a quiet community near Avelgem on the Schelde.

    In 1994, he moved to our CICM community in Schilde. In line with his work in Deurne, he would accompany the ailing confreres, and he was able to devote more time as a priest and animator for the Indonesian community (KKI) in and around Antwerp. He did so for a total of 24 years.

    Gerard came to our community of Torhout in 2018. He, who had accompanied so many sick persons, now needed medical attention. Gerard struggled to accept his illnesses. He died unexpectedly while being admitted to the hospital. He had recently celebrated his 88th birthday with the rest of us in the community.

    By Werner Lesage