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    Our dear departed

    Jacques Haubursin

    Jacques Haubursin

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    Jacques Haubursin


    Born in Gedinne (Belgium) on July 10, 1927
    First vows on September 8, 1948
    Ordained a priest on July 29, 1951
    He was a missionary in DR Congo (Boma) and Belgium.
    Died in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw (Belgium) on November 30, 2022, at the age of 95.


    Jacques gradually showed his desire to become a missionary. After high school, he studied philosophy at the diocesan seminary of Liège in Saint-Trond. Following that, he entered the Novitiate in Scheut.

    At the age of 26, he left for the Congo. In the Congo, he worked for 15 years in the Diocese of Boma as a School Principal, an itinerant priest, an Assistant, and Parish Priest. Thanks to his abilities, he was able to perform all these functions.

    Unfortunately, he was forced to return to Belgium due to health problems. This definitive return to Belgium left an indelible mark on his whole life. However, Jacques continued to be undaunted. He wanted to remain entirely missionary. Therefore, he committed himself to the Parish of Saint-Roch in Brussels. In this multicultural environment near the Gare du Nord, he felt missionary perfectly for more than 35 years. He had many contacts with migrants and locals of all races and cultures. One Sunday a month, he celebrated a mass in the Zairean rite.

    Jacques remained connected to this parish through his prayers and contacts until the last day of his life. Two weeks before passing away, he was invited to the feast of one of the choirs, and he did his best to participate. All this shows how much the parishioners valued his 35 years of commitment.

    Jacques lived in a CICM community in Kessel-Lo and Zuun, where he was integrated and felt fulfilled; he participated in all community activities.

    The contact with his family was an excellent support for Jacques, especially in times of suffering and illness. His brothers and sister came to visit him regularly.

    Health problems and illnesses played a crucial role in Jacques’ life. Yet, he passionately searched for health, happiness, fulfillment, and inner peace.

    The French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a renowned paleontologist and theologian, inspired him. Jacques had read most of the books of this author, who tried to synthesize religion and science, the human body and nature, individual life, and the universe. All his life, Jacques also tried to articulate Teilhard’s ideas, the life of the Church, and the liturgy. All of this encouraged him to look at nature, admire it, and be open to the mysteries of his own life and the mysteries of the universe. This explains why he opted to donate his body to science. He was also concerned with the problems of human evolution and nature conservation and protection.

    Over the years, Jacques found, with much pain and patience, the serenity, inner peace, and vital strength to face and assume weaknesses and health problems. He found his place in this universe. The psalmist affirms:

    Teach us to count our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. Fill us at daybreak with your mercy, that all our days we may sing for joy. Make us glad as many days as you humbled us, for as many years as we have seen trouble” (Ps 90:12, 14-15).

    All these words of the psalmist resonated in the heart and life of James. And with his friend Teilhard de Chardin, he prayed:

    I thank You, my God, for having, in a thousand different ways, led my eyes to discover the immense simplicity of things. Little by little, through the irresistible development of those yearnings you implanted in me…I have been brought to the point where I can no longer see anything, nor any longer breathe, outside the milieu in which all is made one.

    Cyriel Stulens