Father Jacques De Ridder passed away this Saturday, October 15, 2016, in the retirement home where he had been residing near Brussels for the past few years.
A Belgian White Father, he discovered the thought of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin during an international colloquium organized after his death in 1955. He then continued his priesthood in her company by constantly spreading her vision to the poorest of his brothers in Africa and then in Belgium. He was persuaded that the latter, although expressed by Pierre Teilhard in somewhat complex writings, could be expressed in simple terms and thus bring a renewal of Catholic thought in the most disadvantaged social circles.
He also helped his friend, the Father Pierre Noir s.j. for many years to prepare dozens of files composed of excerpts from essays and correspondence of Teilhard on specific themes with the aim of animating sessions and retreats in the years 1980-90 in Gentilly for the members of the Association of Friends of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. These files are still available to discover his thoughts; they are on sale in the store of this site.
At the request of Raoul Giret, then president of our Association, who wished to reactivate an annual retreat for members, Father de Ridder agreed to lead six successive retreats at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Paris between 2003 and 2008. He chose to use the notes of retreats that had just been published by Father Baudry at the time at Editions du Seuil. Each year, Father De Ridder chose a dozen terms and proposed to the retreatants to follow its evolution during the week-long retreats that Teilhard followed each year, like every Jesuit, between 1919 and 1955. Thanks to the help of Chantal Amouroux, six collections of “Spiritual Journeys” have been published; they are available in the store of this site.
We can only pay tribute to this great Teilhardian who lived all his life in the light of the vision of his spiritual master, never ceasing to spread it to the greatest number. We invite you to read the beautiful homily that his friend Father Philippe De Dorlodot, Father Blanc, wrote for his funeral mass.
Let us pray for him that we know how to “go before him who is coming”!