Adieu Fr Peter Hans Kolvenbach !

Adieu Fr Peter Hans Kolvenbach !

Beirut-Lebanon: It was a funeral that had it all: simple yet solemn; very representative of many cultures, languages, nationalities and rites. Fr Dany Youness, the Jesuit Provincial of the Proche Orient Province presided over the Eucharistic Celebration which was in French. Fr Arturo Sosa, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus was one of the con-celebrants (and PHK from his coffin would have simply loved that!). Among the other principal con-celebrants were Fr. Antoine Kerhuel, the Secretary of the Society and Fr. Victor Assouad, newly appointed Regional Assistant for Europe and the Near East.

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Patriarchs and Bishops, Jesuits, other Clergy and religious; students and teachers; relatives (Fr. Kolvenbach’s sister-in-law and a nephew had come from the Netherlands) and colleagues; Government ministers and commoners – they were all there. They had come to say their ‘final farewell’ to a man who made the Near East his home, immersing himself in the local culture and particularly in the Armenian tradition!

Fr General Arturo, in his homily delivered in Spanish highlighted the fact that Fr Kolvenbach was both a ‘father and a brother’ to all. He was truly a man of God! The Apostolic Nuncio Gabriele Caccia read out a personal and warm message from Pope Francis. The Holy Father praised Fr Kolvenbach for his integral fidelity to Christ and his Gospel and for his devoted service to the Church. The Armenian and Maronite Patriarchs, in their eulogies also spoke about Fr. Kolvenbach’s silent but significant contribution in different fields.

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As the funeral cortege left St Joseph ‘s Jesuit Church for Notre Dame in Jamhour, this afternoon, all heavens broke open there was thunder, lightning and rains !!!Someone remarked “today the heavens are also weeping because of the death of a GREAT SOUL”; but quick came a response from another ” today is Kolvenbach ‘s 88th birthday and there is a celebration in heaven and in a style which characterized his life on earth Kolvenbach felt that sending down “showers of blessings ” to this land that was really waiting for rains since the last couple of months was surely an apt gift ” Perhaps it was a combination of the two!

Someone remarked “today the heavens are also weeping because of the death of a GREAT SOUL”; but quick came a response from another ” today is Kolvenbach ‘s 88th birthday and there is a celebration in heaven and in a style which characterized his life on earth Kolvenbach felt that sending down “showers of blessings ” to this land that was really waiting for rains since the last couple of months was surely an apt gift “Perhaps it was a combination of the two!

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As the mortal remains of dear Fr Peter Hans Kolvenbach were lowered into the grave in the Cemetery of Notre Dame in Jamhour one could not help the tears that spontaneously trickled down from one’s eyes: A WONDERFUL HUMAN BEING, A GREAT JESUIT and A SAINT TODAY! Thank you and Adieu Fr Kolvenbach!

Also Read Related Article :

Kolvenbach – A Heart For Refugees!

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Dr. Cajetan Coelho

Respectful farewell. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let your perpetual light shine upon the departed soul.