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    Our dear departed

    Evarist Verlinden

    Evarist Verlinden

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    Frederic Vital Mees smallEvarist Verlinden (1932-2022)

    Born in Nooderwijk (Belgium) on October 29, 1932
    First vows on September 8, 1952
    Ordained a priest on August 4, 1957
    Missionary in the Philippines and Belgium.
    Died in Schilde (Belgium) on August 10, 2022,
    at the age of 89.

    Evarist is the youngest of three sons born to Jef Verlinden and Adeline Van Asbroeck. He went to Noorderwijk elementary school and Mechelen minor seminary for humanities. He then entered the Novitiate in Scheut and went through the normal formation process of a CICM. During this time, he studied Lingala because he was destined for the mission in Congo. After he studied theology, Evarist was sent to study pedagogy and psychology at the KU-Leuven from 1958 to 1962. Afterward, he still took up clinical psychology for one year in Lovenjoel and another year at the Sorbonne in Paris.

    Evarist was ready for his first departure in 1964, not to Congo but to the Philippines. Evarist would not become the typical missionary who traveled difficult roads from village to village to visit people in remote places. He was appointed to Saint Louis University in Baguio and served there in a variety of capacities until 2016. His outstanding achievement was the setting up and development of the psychology department in the university and, later on, of the counseling program.

    Not only students but also seminarians and religious found a trustworthy guide in Evarist who helped them to assess and deepen their life choices. He put many people back on the road to a meaningful life. Evarist was a beloved professor for his students and for his staff, a competent colleague and department head. He presided over the Eucharist in the university parish on a daily basis. As a dedicated weekend pastor, he celebrated the Eucharist every Sunday in a small church on the periphery of Baguio City. Evarist was an amiable confrere to his confreres of the CICM community at SLU (Saint Louis University).

    Evarist came on vacation to Belgium in 2016 and stayed in Kessel-Lo. He was eager to return to the Philippines, but the doctor advised him to stay in Belgium for health reasons. It was extremely difficult for him to accept it, but he never complained.  After the closure of our house in Kessel-Lo, Evarist moved to the community of Schilde, where he quietly passed away. He was a happy and grateful man. How many times did we hear him say thank you, thank you, thank you? We will never forget him.  

    Luc Colla