Contact Us  |  

    Our dear departed

    Jozef Dehandschutter

    Jozef Dehandschutter

    Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

    Jozef Dehandschutter smallJozef Dehandschutter (1930-2020)

    Born in Halle (B) on January 5, 1930
    First vows on September 8, 1949
    Ordained Priest on September 12, 1954
    Missionary in DR Congo and Belgium
    Died in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw (B)
    on November 7, 2020 at the age of 90.

    Jozef grew up in Halle in a fami­ly of nine. He entered Scheut in 1948, dreaming of becoming a missionary in China. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, he was sent to DR Congo. For several years he was the diocesan Chaplain of the Young Christian Workers (YCW) and the Young Christian Women workers (YCWW). At the end of his sociology studies in Paris, he was put in charge of the Ongoing Formation of the Scheutists, a task he accomplished with great enthu­siasm. Later he became a religion teacher in the secondary schools of Antwerp. He also served as an ac­countant for expeditions from the Procure of Scheut. For several years he lived in the community of Schilde and from 2015 onwards in the community of Zuun.

    Jozef's life was like the story of the disciples of Emmaus narrated by Luke: walking with the people on the road, sharing their joys and sor­rows, radiating a bit of what lives in us, sometimes with a lot of doubts, uncertainties, and weaknesses.

    Jozef was very realistic. He had both feet planted firmly on the ground. He saw his faith as a way of living inspired by Christ. In the face of his illness and suffering, he reflected a lot on the meaning of life. This is how he found consolation in Maurice Zundel's writings, of which he “devoured,” as he said, some twenty books.

    Jozef gave the best of himself to the Lord and the people wherever he worked. As a young missionary, he had a great dream, not of great ap­pointments or spectacular achieve­ments, but of tasks in which he felt good. In his confrontation with his weaknesses and limitations, his hu­mility and patience and his confidence and courage to go on searching became evident. His search is now over for the One who accompanied him all his life on the road to Emmaus. ■

    Cyriel Stulens