Monday, 21 December 2009

Rev. Fr Leo Vanderstichele (1825-1887)

Counting from his first Mission in 1851, at St John’s Mission Limerick, to his last one given in the Church of St Nicholas, Dublin, in the year 1884, this Father was occupied in constant missionary work for the long space of thirty-three years. Every year of this time was well filled up with Missions and retreats.

He was attached to the Limerick Monastery, Ireland, from 1859 to 1862, and again in 1871, remaining a member of the Community for five years. He had spent many years in Clapham, London, and in Bishop Eton; the last seven years of his life he lived at St Joseph’s Dundalk (Ireland).

Father Leo Vanderstichele was born in Belgium, on the 5th of April 1825. His religious Profession took place when he had just completed his twentieth year, and his ordination to the Priesthood six years later. His religious life was remarkable, chiefly, for a love of mortification, and for the exactness with which he performed the everyday exercises prescribed by rule for the members of the Congregation.

It has been said that his life, as a missioner for thirty-three years, was one well filled up with work. After this, there were three years, those immediately preceding his death, in which he could do nothing but pray and make acts of submission to God’s Will. Early in 1884 he had a paralytic stroke, which made him unfit for further missionary labours. He died a holy death, on the 8th June, 1887, and is buried beneath the sanctuary of St Joseph’s Church, Dundalk. †

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