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    Our dear departed

    Albert De Meyere

    Albert De Meyere

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    Albert De MeyereAlbert De Meyere

    (1934 – 2024)


    Born in Sijsele, Belgium on April 23, 1934.
    Religious vows on May 1, 1955.
    Missionary in Congo (Kasai) and in Belgium.
    Died in Torhout on January 26, 2024, at the age of 89.

    Albert was the eldest of eleven siblings. Unfortunately, their father passed away at a young age. Due to this, Albert was given a great deal of responsibility within the family. When his presence was no longer required, he decided to work as a brother in Scheut, wherever he was needed. Eventually, he was sent to Congo and specifically to eastern Kasai.

    Upon first interaction with him, people were initially taken aback by his use of colorful and intense language. However, it quickly became apparent that he was deeply dedicated to the mission and its work. He did not engage in small talk; instead, he saved his energy for moments of genuine interest and quiet reflection. During those times, he spoke passionately about his concerns and many adventures.

    For 33 years, he was responsible for mission maintenance and the Cilomba garage. Cilomba was a large mission with many buildings and activities. From 1980 to 1995, he directed bridge-building and reforestation projects from Kananga. He found a solution to so many "unsolvable" cases. How do you bring hundreds of cows 250 km away? Berten didn't improvise. He made the trip himself and knew which chiefs he could count on and what he would have to pay them. And everything went off without a hitch. How to pull a cumbersome several-meter-long bridge over the river? Berten found the solution.

    In 1995, he permanently returned to Belgium. Despite the past, he did not dwell on it and focused on the present. He kept himself busy and got involved with World Missionary Aid, where his creativity and enthusiasm for work were put to use. He continued his dedication until his last breath, particularly for the aid project in Romania, where he demonstrated boundless commitment. His inquisitive nature led him to learn about the Orthodox Church, and he became intrigued by their spirituality. Over the years, he drove loaded trucks to Romania thirty-three times.

    In 2014, he retired from the Torhout community. From the first day of his retirement, he worked in the cemetery, where more than a hundred confreres are buried, and he continued doing so as long as his health permitted. At the same time, he collected banana boxes and knitting wool from Kringwinkel for Romania. It may seem like his hair was long out of nonchalance, but it was actually for Think Pink to make wigs for people with cancer. Brother Albert was full of unexpected gifts. He regularly brought flowers that he bought from the market to the nurses.

    In 2020, Berten proposed to lead the Stations of the Cross during Lent. Instead of the traditional fourteen stations, he delivered one long reflection on the suffering of Christ. Berten did not speak about Jesus specifically, but rather about Christ - the one who died for all people, even between two murderers. Only with the "good" murderer did a conversation take place: "Jesus, remember Me when You come into Your kingdom." - "I assure you, even today, you will be with Me in paradise." Berten concluded by expressing his hope that when he is about to die, Christ will also say those words to him: "Even today, you will be with Me in paradise."

    That "today" was suddenly there, sooner than expected, when CORONA took him away, just like that. His blue dust jacket, which "served" so many years, was left behind.

    - Arnold Quartier         §