It is with sadness, but trusting in the loving mercy of God, that the British Province of Carmelites announces the death this morning of our brother Fr Piet Wijngaard, O.Carm.
The following text comes from the announcement on the British province site: "Piet was born in The Netherlands in 1939. Growing up there during the Nazi occupation of World War II, Piet was greatly impressed with the witness to the Gospel of Carmelite martyrs such as Blessed Titus Brandsma. Working hard was a hallmark of Piet's personality, and his final appointment was as Parish Priest of Faversham, where he had also served as Chaplain to the National Shrine of Saint Jude. He celebrated Mass in the parish church on Tuesday of this week. The Carmelites express our condolences to Piet's family and friends, and thank everyone who has cared for him. We thank God for the great example Piet gave us, of living a Carmelite vocation to the full. We ask you to join with us in praying for Piet, who remains tied to us in Christ by baptism and the bonds of Carmel." When Fr Piet was diagnosed with his illness back in 2014, he wrote an update called: Why not me?, which is reproduced below.
"...the bad news is that I have a malignant tumour on my right lung. The whole situation makes me think of a lady at home in Holland.
Her name is Truus. She was happily married, was a real bubbly young woman with five sons. One Saturday afternoon her husband, Henk, was watching a couple of their boys playing soccer. It was a very exciting match and he died there and then of a massive heart attack. A long time later Truus told me that she had been pretty miserable and had been going around for a couple of years with only one question in her head "Why me?" until one morning she woke up and found herself asking "Why not me?". It changed her life in an instant and she became once again the cheerful mum she had been before.
Now I can really share her sentiments. Millions of people have cancer and after all two of my own sisters died of it and therefore "Why not me?". Many thanks for your great support and many prayers..."
We will miss him a lot at the Shrine and Shrine Office, and we are very grateful for his presence and service to everyone at the Shrine. May Piet, and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace.
Friday 7th October 7pm Memorial Mass for Faversham Parish.
All are welcome at this liturgy which will be an opportunity for Fr. Piet's parishioners to thank God for his life and pray for his repose.
Saturday 8th October 11.30am Requiem Mass and Burial at The Friars, Aylesford Priory.
All are welcome, but for those seeking accommodation at The Friars, please note that due to existing bookings, rooms are only available for Fr. Piet's family. Friars, please contact the Prior for room requests.
Fr Piet's full obituary can be seen at: www.carmelite.org/index.php?nuc=news&func=view&item=1266