CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF

Fr. Gerard Reynaert, M.Afr.

 

1925-2018

>       22/10/1925: Born at Passchendale in the Diocese of Brugge

in Belgium.

>       1947            : Novitiate in Versenare, Belgium.

>       21/07/1951 : Missionary Oath in the Society of the Missionaries

of Africa (White Fathers) in Heverlee, Belgium.

>       12/04/1952: Priestly Ordination in Heverlee.

>       1954            : Arrived in Uganda and appointed to Nkozi.

>       Places where he worked in Uganda : Nkozi, Kisubi Seminary,

Bujuni, Busuubizi TTC, Nswanjere, Lubaga, Nandere, Nakasongola, Vvumba, Ndibata, Kasambya, Nabulagala, Lourdel House (Nsambya).

>       03/05/2018: Passed on. It was the feast of the

Apostles Philip and James.

>       67 years of Missionary life and almost all these spent in Uganda.

Fr. Gerard’s faithfulness and commitment to the apostolate up to the last drop of his life and strength remain for us a powerful reminder of the strong recommendation of our founder. Cardinal Lavigerie:

“My dear children, you are not explorers or ordinary travellers.... You are apostles and only apostles. All your other interests must derive from that fundamental fact. I beseech you, revive within yourselves these great thoughts of the apostolate.”

This reminder is even more meaningful when put in the context of the 150th Jubilee of the foundation of the Missionaries of Africa and the Missionary Sisters of our Lady of Africa (Msola).

 

Fr. Gerard’s faith has been ‘a down-to-earth and practical faith’. It is, therefore, not by chance that he passed on, on the day when we were celebrating the feast of St. James, whose teaching strongly emphasises such a faith: “Faith without good deeds is dead”. (James, 2: 26)

Gerard’s way of life corresponded well to the life that all Missionaries of Africa are invited to embrace: ‘Simple way of life’. He was a real Biblical Job: “Naked 1 came from my mother’s womb, naked I will depart.” (1: 21)? He departed from this earthly life “naked”: he left behind almost nothing! What a powerful message and legacy in a world full of greed of all sorts of earthly things! What a powerful message and legacy in a world where the “culture of grabbing” is on the increase everyday!

Jokingly, Fr. Gerard used to speak of himself as “Ow’empisa ennungi” (someone with good manners). May we too, in spite of our human weaknesses, always aspire to be ‘abantu ab'empisa ennungi' (people of good manners)!

MAY HIS SOUL REST IN ETERNAL PEACE!

 

PHOTOS FROM FR. JOSEPH SSERUGGA.  WITH MANY THANKS!

 

 

 

 

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