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    Our dear departed

    Paul Snoeck

    Paul Snoeck

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    Paul SnoeckJules Perpète

    (1936 – 2024)

    Born in Wetteren, Belgium on December 31, 1936.
    Religious vows on September 8, 1955.
    Ordained priest on August 7, 1960.
    Missionary in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, the United States and Belgium.
    Died in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw (Zuun) on January 20, 2024, at the age of 87.


    After his secondary studies in Wetteren and Ghent, Paul enrolled in Scheut, as he wanted to become a missionary. He was to leave for the missions in 1961 but was still asked to study philosophy at the University of Leuven. The superiors had seen that Paul had many intellectual gifts. After obtaining the licentiate in Leuven, he studied theology in Nijmegen for four more years.

    In 1969, he was ready to leave for Mexico, in Cuernavaca, to learn the Spanish language and Latino-American culture. So he could test that out in pastoral ministry in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

    After a year, they called on him to become spiritual director of the young confreres in training in Washington. He would do that for five years.

    He then did six years of parish pastoral ministry in Texas and California.

    In 1984, he was appointed to the formation community of CICM in Mexico as rector and later as treasurer. Meanwhile, he worked with the pastoral team in the working-class neighborhoods of Mexico. After the formation house was closed, he worked there full-time. For 26 years, he remained in the same region of Mexico.

    In 2006, he returned to Belgium for good, not to rest, but to become an animator of the Scheut communities. Thus, from the Rue Berckmans, he went to preach retreats and accompany recollections everywhere.

    Without a doubt, Pablo's missionary life was marked by the Virgin of Guadalupe. Her image accompanied him until the last day. For more or less twenty-five years, he had the good fortune to live in Mexico not far from Tepeyac Hill, where Our Lady of Guadalupe had appeared to poor Juan Diego.

    What can we say about Pablito? First of all, he had a deep love for the poor and marginalized. He loved them and was convinced that they were the true messengers of the Good News. He listened with his heart to their problems, shared their suffering, often took meals, and prayed with them. He helped them form small communities dedicated to fighting poverty and its causes. Pablo felt it was important to share people's lives and live in the same conditions as much as possible. He did not shy away from domestic tasks or services. Every night, he did the dishes. He was always ready to help. Regularly, he went with buckets to the trucks that delivered drinking water.

    Pablo never complained and rarely got angry. He was very discreet, unable to say anything bad about anyone. During meetings, he did not force his point of view and was often the last to speak. Prayer played a significant role in his life. His last months were excruciating, but when someone spoke to him in Spanish, his face lit up. Mexicans remained in his heart until his last breath.

    "There is sown in weakness and raised in strength." We believe he is alive and shares the life of God. He is close to Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is dear to the poorest people of Mexico and Latin America.

    - Cyriel Stulens             §