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Father André Bruneel sscc celebrates one hundred years of life (Belgium)

On Saturday 26 October, André Bruneel crossed the 100 years line.  He expressly wanted this special anniversary to be kept simple, and thanks to good arrangements made in advance, his wish was granted.  The festivities were limited to the celebration of mass in his room, presided over by Father Gilbert De Decker, the superior of the Flemish delegation.  Fr. Louis Notelteirs concelebrated and also present was Gusta Oorts.
 
Since then Gilbert spoke to André and took the opportunity to ask him a few questions:
 
Gilbert.  André, my sincere congratulations to you, and congratulations on behalf of all your Flemish colleagues.  How do you feel turning 100?
 
André:  First of all I am very grateful for the many congratulations I have received.  In particular, the congratulations coming from the Generalate gave me great pleasure.  It was an important gesture.  All these congratulations marking my hundredth birthday are for me a sign and a confirmation that I still belong to the worldwide family of Picpusians.
 
 G. André, during all the years that you have been in formation, many brothers have passed through your hands as their formator and as superior.  Unfortunately, there have been no new vocations for a long time.
 
 A. This is an unfortunate development indeed.  I pray regularly for new vocations.  If, for the moment, this is not possible here in our country, then may we at least be blessed with vocations elsewhere so that there may be brothers to continue the charism of the Congregation and - concretely for us -  succeed us in the care of our project 'Damien today' in Louvain and Tremelo.
 
 G. Damien is an important example for you.
 
 A. In this time of pandemic confusion, our congregation can be a light through the figure of Damien.  In this corona crisis, people are asking serious questions about the meaning of life and.  What Damien meant for his people can inspire us today: to be close to people, even if we have to keep our distances.
 
 G. How do you spend your day?
 A. I listen to Radio Maria a lot and I pray with the rosary.  I also always read very attentively the reflective texts of Father Alberto, and I pray to God that his wishes for
the future of our congregation can be realized with the help of God.
 
Although Fr.  Gilbert presided at the Eucharistic, at the beginning, Father André wanted to say a word at the beginning of the mass.  Quoting the psalmist he observed: "What is human life ... at best he will live to be eighty years old.  Life is also full of misfortunes and torments ...”  But I have to say, this has not been the case for me.  I have turned a hundred years old and I am a lucky man and a happy religious.
 
After Mass it was time for gifts and in the afternoon another gift was delivered by Zandhoven City Council.  So this pleasant celebration, simple in the way that Fr.  André wanted it, left him a very happy centenarian.  
 
 

10/28/2020