Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fr. Michael van der Peet, R.I.P.

My former spiritual director, and advisor to Mother Teresa, Fr. Michael van der Peet, S.C.J., died yesterday. I can't begin to express the greatness of this man, who was always so kind, thoughtful, concerned, humble. Here is the announcement from the Sacred Heart School of Theology web page:
The Sacred Heart School of Theology community mourns the passing of Fr. Michael van der Peet, SCJ. He died on April 21, 2010. He was 85.

Fr. Michael professed vows in 1946, was ordained in 1953, and shortly after ordination came to the United States to work with the SCJ U.S. Province, which was in need of seminary instructors. In 1970 he began full-time retreat ministry, and became a popular retreat director, especially with women's religious communities.

It was during a brief vacation to Rome in 1975 that he met Mother Theresa. They continued to have a close relationship until her death in 1997. Their friendship included regular correspondence, and retreats given to Mother Teresa's Sisters of Charity. And it was because of that friendship that Fr. Michael was asked to go to Rome in 2002 to work on the commission that prepared Mother Teresa's cause for beatification. In 1999, at the age of 74, Fr. Michael went back to work, serving as a spiritual director at Sacred Heart School of Theology. He remained active in spiritual direction until he suffered a stroke in February, 2010.

Visitation will be Tuesday, April 27 at 7:00 p.m, and the Mass of the Christian Burial will be Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 11 a.m. Both will be held at Sacred Heart, 7335 S. Highway 100, Franklin, Wis. More information about Fr. Michael's life and funeral arrangements can be found at the Priests of Sacred Heart website.


robert said...

A wonderful priest. Requiescat in pace.

Did you see this reflection he wrote two years ago, to be released upon his death?

dnanreh2003 said...

He will be missed and remembered by so many of us who shared and experienced God's love through knowing him. May He sing God's praises forever.
Eileen, Javier and JJ Hernand, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

diana said...

I offer my condolences for your loss. Two friends in a month. Will be praying for you and yours.

Anonymous said...

I found out about Father Michael's passing just yesterday (May 17th). Words cannot express the sorrow that I feel and the hurt that is in my heart. Father Michael baptized my children when he was here in Houston. We remained in contact and I looked forward to his Christmas letters every year. His holiness was so radiant. I often compared his faith and love to Pope John Paul. When I needed an answer or a prayer, I turned to Father Michael. I Love You Father Michael and I know that you are an angel that will watch over your people. God Bless You and I can't wait for the day that we will see each other again. I Love You!