+ Herman Verhaeghe

We do not usually announce the death of our former confreres, but you will understand by reading this post by Jef Vleugels, former Provincial of Belgium and currently archivist of the Sector, that this former confrere undoubtedly knew and rendered many services to many confreres. That is why we are publishing this note sent by Jef Vleugels. 

We have just learned of the death of an former confrere, Mr Herman Verhaeghe, in Heverlee, on Tuesday 27 October, husband of Mrs Maria Concetta Casarano and father of Benedikt, David and Sarah..

Herman was born in Izegem in West Flanders on 24 July 1928. After the Greco-Latin humanities in his home town, he joined the White Fathers in Boechout in September 1946. After the novitiate in Varsenare, he left in September 1949 for Thibar and Carthage for theology. After taking his missionary oath in Thibar on 27 June 1952, he was ordained priest on 5 April 1953 in Carthage. He then did a doctorate in Canon Law at the Gregorian University in Rome.

During his military service at the University of Leuven, he temporarily replaced the holder of canon law at the scholasticate in Heverlee, Father Edgard Declercq, who broke his leg during a football match against the Scheutists. At the beginning of May 1957 Herman left for the major seminary in Baudouinville, where he taught until 1960. From 1960 until 1964 he was professor and since 1963 also rector of our major seminary in Carthage. In 1964 he was asked to close the house for good. On 1 January 1964 he was called to Rome as Procurator General of the Society. In his last years in this position he was also “Defensor vinculi” at the tribunal of the “Sacra Rota” in the Vatican. He was proud of the role he was able to play in the rapid progress of the beatification process of the Baganda Martyrs. In the years after the Council, Herman helped many of the confreres who wanted to leave in the preparation of their files .

In 1973 he himself decided to leave. He obtained the “dispensatio ab omnibus” (in other words the return to the secular state) and started looking for a job as a sworn translator (French, Italian, English). In the church of La Cambre he married Maria Concetta Casarano. He found a job at the KBC bank, where in 1982 he became Regional Manager Africa. Their three children did very well in their studies. When he officially retired in 1994, Herman continued to work as an interpreter and translator.

Herman and Concetta lived in Heverlee. A dozen grandchildren were added to the family. Every Sunday Herman and Concetta faithfully attended the Eucharist at the Jesuits’ house on the Chaussée de Wavre. Until he fell ill and received the sacrament of the sick. He passed away slowly on Tuesday 27th: “He always spoke with praise and consideration of the time he spent with you”, wrote his daughter Sarah. She added that a WF’s presence at the farewell would be appreciated. Yvo and I will be there next Tuesday.

Jef Vleugels, M.Afr.

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