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    Our dear departed

    Frederic (Vital) Mees

    Frederic (Vital) Mees

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    Frederic Vital Mees smallFrederic (Vital) Mees (1931-2020)


    Born in Rummen (B) on July 15, 1931
    First vows on September 8, 1950
    Ordained Priest on August 7, 1955
    Missionary in DR Congo (AFA) and Belgium
    Died in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw (B) on November 27, 2020 at the age of 89.

    Vital grew up in a large Christian family of farmers. After the minor seminary, Vital joined CICM. He had a keen mind and an excellent apti­tude for science. He studied geogra­phy at the University of Leuven. In 1960, he went to the mission in the diocese of Kabinda. He began his missionary life as a teacher at the mi­nor seminary of Mbuji-Mayi. In 1968, he succeeded Father François Dufey as director of St. Paul's College in Kabinda. In 1977, he returned to Mbuji-Mayi as a professor of mathe­matics and science for 20 years at the Pedagogical College founded by our confrere Raphaël Lambrecht. On weekends, he helped in the parishes.

    Vital was practical and at­tracted by everything related to en­gineering and electronics. He opened, inspected, and repaired countless radios, tape recorders, computers, film equipment, etc. He was also a hands-on person. His office was much more like a workshop than the office of a teacher-priest. His innate skills and enthusiasm to help were much appreciated in Kabinda, Mbuji-Mayi, and Belgium.

    When I think of Vital, who had dozens of pliers, screwdrivers, pin­cers, and various equipment in his room, I remember this letter from our Founder asking the novice mas­ter to teach certain skills to the novices. It was said that Vital was born with a screwdriver in his belly.

    But Vital was much more than a technically gifted man. He was always a very pleasant and happy confrere who always took time for community activities despite his great scientific activities. He was always available to provide various services to the confreres.

    Vital was very generous and at­tentive. He had used his many skills well, like the man who had received five talents in the Bible. May he now receive his reward from the Father and Jesus the Lord. ■

    by Frans Van Humbeeck