Monday, May 09, 2005

Belgian Jesuit missionary killed in Kinshasa.

Father René De Haes, a Belgian Jesuit who served as rector of the Jesuit philosophate near Kinshasa, died Saturday night after being shot in an apparent carjacking. Father De Haes was a gifted scholar who devoted his life to building up the Catholic Church and the Society of Jesus in Africa; you can read a couple of his articles (in French) here and here. Tragic in itself, Father De Haes' death also reminds us that the threat of martyrdom remains very real, especially for those working in the Church in the developing world. Over 300 Jesuits were martyred over the course of the 20th century; as this list shows, they died in many different countries and under varying circumstances, but all died as servants of the Word and of God's people. As Father De Haes' death indicates, Jesuits continue to face martyrdom in this 21st century as well. Father De Haes may not have been killed specifically for his faith or on account of his work, but in dying as a victim of apparently random violence he died in solidarity with the suffering people of the Congo who face such violence every day of their lives. In his death, Father De Haes was united with the people he served all his life, and I'll remember him as a modern example of Jesuit martyrdom. AMDG.


At May 09, 2005 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eternal rest grant unto him...


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