Fr. Michael van der Peet, SCJ, died today, April 21. Already our province website is filled with biographical information, stories about his friendship with Mother Teresa, links to news articles and even a video interview of him.
One of the most touching items was written by Fr. Michael himself, to be shared after his death.
“Very understandably I do not know who among my friends will ever read this reflection, but regardless, I have my own personal and unique thoughts and feelings for each one of them,” he wrote. “Each relationship is so unique: what I would say to one, I would not say to the other and vice versa, but to all I would say, ‘I have loved you very dearly and as the profound saying of Roy Kroft goes, “I thank you, my friend, not so much for what you are, but for what I was, when you were with me.”’
Fr. Michael would probably be the first to say that no one person’s life is more important than another’s. The work of a quiet parish priest, or a brother in a social service agency, is just as important as a person whose life and work often put him at the center of attention, both within his community and in public media. However, Fr. Michael certainly made it easy to share the significance of his life with others.
I invite you to visit our website to read about Fr. Michael, as well as the full text of the reflection noted above.