Friday, December 15, 2017

Fr de Verteuil dies at 84

 Fr Michel de Verteuil CSSp, former rector of the Regional Seminary at Mt St Benedict and managing director and editor of the Catholic News, has died at the age of 84. 

Fr de Verteuil, who was also provincial of the Holy Ghost Fathers from 1980 to 1992, was found dead in his room on Sunday morning, after repeated calls went unanswered.

The funeral for Fr Michel will take place on Thursday, January 9, at St Theresa’s Church, De Verteuil Street, Woodbrook, beginning at 9.30 a.m.

A priest for 53 years, Fr Michel’s influence extended beyond the Archdiocese and the Caribbean region. He became Seminary Rector in 1970, shepherding its transition from an Archdiocesan seminary to a regional institution. 

In 1980 Fr Michel founded the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre situated at UWI Chaplaincy, Carmody Road, St Augustine, and continued as its director until 2003. 

During this period, between 1992 and 2002, Fr Michel served as managing director and editor of the Catholic News. In 1998 the paper won a Royal Bank/MATT Award for excellence in journalism – Best Editorial in print.

Fr Michel was co-founder of the annual School of Liturgy and one of the founders of Catholic Theology in the Caribbean, which brought together those interested in doing theology in the Caribbean space. 

He was the principal promoter of Lectio Divina (a Latin expression for ‘sacred reading’) as a way of personal encounter with God through he words of Scripture. He worked to spread this method of reflection in the Caribbean, Ireland and Canada and wrote extensively on the topic.

On Fr Michel’s passing, Fr Clyde Harvey, Vicar for Clergy, said: “At every step in his journey he profoundly influenced the lives of hundreds of Caribbean people as priest, mentor and friend, in the Church and beyond.”

Retired Bishop of Grenada, Sydney Charles, in Trinidad for a short stay described Fr Michel as a “great teacher” . He said, “He was born to teach.”