Contact Us  |  

    Our dear departed

    André Decock

    André Decock

    Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

    Frederic Vital Mees small

    André Decock


    Born in Ingooigem (Belgium) on April 3, 1935
    First vows on September 8, 1955
    Ordained a priest on August 7, 1960
    He was a missionary in Brazil and Belgium.
    Died in Torhout (Belgium) on November 6, 2022, at the age of 87.


    André completed his high school education at the minor seminary in Roeselare and did his novitiate in Zuun. Afterward, he studied philosophy in Scheut-Brussels for two years and theology in Kessel-Lo and Leuven for four years. André also studied pedagogy at the KU Leuven for three years before he left for his mission in Brazil.

    André went to Brazil in January 1965. There he joined the group of CICM, who had started this new mission two years earlier. It was a new mission with a new approach. This approach consisted of organizing the basic communities, giving great attention to the formation of the laity, and trying to live close to the people and like the people. Teamwork with nuns and laypeople was also part of the new approach.

    After a few months of language study in Petrópolis, André was appointed Assistant Priest in Villa Nova and from 1966 to 1974 in the Cathedral of Nova Iguaçu. This first period allowed him to adapt to Brazilian society.

    From 1975, André served seven years as a parish priest and a student chaplain in Prata, Nova Iguaçu. He loved to sing, dance, and be with people. André was indeed an enthusiastic and creative leader. He could captivate people, accompany them in their stories, laugh at their jokes and enrich them. André was especially appreciated as a weekend chaplain to the youth. With them, he would be able to enjoy himself to the fullest. He then worked for 14 years as a parish priest in Rondon do Pará, in the Amazon region. At the age of 60, he was called back to Belgium to do missionary animation in the diocese of Bruges for three years.

    André returned to Brazil in 1998. He was appointed Parish Priest in Palestina de Pará, still in the Amazon region. He served there for seven years. André returned to Nova Iguaçu in 2005, where he was appointed Parish Priest of St. Elias. And at the age of 80, he joined the CICM Central House Community in the same city.

    André returned to Belgium in 2019 and joined the CICM community in Torhout. However, he was not the same. He always had a suitcase ready in his closet. Because he thought he still had a lot of work to do in Brazil and that people were waiting for him there. Even in the middle of the night, he would leave his room, thinking that people would come looking for him. Or he wanted to go home to celebrate his father’s birthday.

    “Where am I now? Where have all these people gone? What is there to do now?” These were questions Andre often asked. He would calm down by eating a pear, an apple, a banana, and another pear, and then French songs would come up, like, “Non, rien de rien, non, Je ne regrette rien...”. His mind was where his heart had been: in Brazil. The lights went out in his room, and the singing stopped. We saw him alone in the hospital for three weeks toward the end. And so he left us, all alone, happy and without pain. May his soul rest in peace.

    Arnold Quartier