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    Our dear departed

    Louis (Guilielmus) Rymen

    Louis (Guilielmus) Rymen

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    Louis (Guilielmus) Rymen (1934-2020)Frederic Vital Mees small

     

    Born in Lier on May 28, 1934
    First vows on September 8, 1954
    Ordained priest on August 7, 1960
    Missionary in Congo (KIN), Brazil and Belgium
    Died in Zuun on 11 May 2020 at the age of 85
     
     

    Louis grew up in a wonderful family in Grobbendonk. His younger brother became a Carmelite, and his sister went to the sisters of Vorselaar. She is now a missionary in Venezuela. Louis wanted to become a missionary and entered Scheut.

    After six years of pastoral work in Kinshasa, he was asked to study journalism in Lille. He had the necessary talents for this and had written many short stories or chronicles, which remained typi­cal for his whole life.

    He started as a journalist for the mis­sionary magazine “Wereldwijd”. He did it with a vision: to live and think in a way that is open to the whole world, to open the mission to the concrete life of people, espe­cially the poor. This was not always appreciated by many ha­bitual readers of the missionary magazine. There was a lot of criti­cism from all sides. Louis experi­enced all this evolution (and partly “provoked” it). But he did so with a conviction and an evan­gelical motivation. For three years, he was in charge of the BRT's religious programs, where he also witnessed the same re­newed vision in addition to the ex­pertise.

    These were not just fine words and beautiful ideas. For 33 years, Louis carried it out in Brazil, in the dioceses of Itaguai and Maraba, among his people, among the most neglected. He arrived there in 1979. It was not only to preach but also to make people awake, to make them live and breathe.

    For a while, Louis did an awe-in­spiring job, which can be de­scribed as “classic missions in the villages”. He liked to do it among ordinary and simple people. It was undoubtedly one of the pas­toral activities in which Louis felt very comfortable and useful. It was a very enthusiastic period in his missionary life. He turned out to be a passionate preacher who could fascinate people.

    He always sought adaptation, re­newal, and improvement in pas­toral work and always with his people. He was concerned about the formation of the laity and their responsibility in the Church and the community. He orga­nized many formation courses. He also had a great talent for this. He did it in popular and simple way based on the events of daily life. Yes, Louis was a valued preacher and educator.

    As a journalist, he had the fascinating art of writing. In a series of stories from the animal world, we see his stories about his home village Grobbendonk and the war years in the Campine. He was also a good photographer and liked to take pictures to illustrate his works.

    In 1991, Louis became Provincial Superior of the confreres in Brazil and moved to the provin­cial house in Nova Iguaçu. It was perhaps the most challenging period for Louis, but he did so with great zeal and diligence. Louis was pleased to meet con­freres and socialize with them over a drink. He also played an important role in accompanying the postulants with whom he lived in the parish. Louis also had some difficult moments in his life but was never alone. Together with his colleagues and several of his friends, he sought solutions.

    In 2012, he came to Schilde to rest, and there he tried to make himself useful in many areas. He has now found the rest and inner peace from the Lord that he has been searching for so intensely in recent years. Louis, thank you for your beautiful testimony of God's love for people. ■


    by Cyriel Stulens


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