We regret to announce the death at the Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem,the Netherlands, on 17th July 2012 at the age of 81, of
Fr Hans van den Eeden
May he rest in Peace
Fr Henricus (Hans) van den Eeden was born on 11th March 1931 at Breda in the Netherlands. His parents were Cornelius van den Eeden and Gertrude Zoetemulder. He had three brothers and six sisters. His older brother Guust worked as a Mill Hill Missionary in East Africa. Hans received his secondary education in the Minor Seminary of the Diocese of Breda at Ypelar from 1943 to 1949. He wanted to be a Missionary Priest and studied Philosophy at the Mill Hill College in Roosendaal from 1949 to 1951. From 1951 to 1955 he studied Theology at St Joseph’s College, Mill Hill, London. He took his Perpetual Oath on 5th May 1954 at St Joseph’s College and was ordained priest in the college chapel by Cardinal Griffin on 10th July 1955.
After ordination Fr Hans v.d. Eeden was appointed to the Philippines, and he arrived at Iloilo in January 1956. He spent fifty years in the Philippines as a missionary and worked in Tubungan, Pandan, Bugansong, San Remigio, Hamtic, Anini-y, the Seminary in Antique, the Mill Hill Houses in Manila and Iloilo as well as other places. He served as a pastor, teacher and administrator, but also learned and became an expert in the local language-Hiligaynon. From 1964 to 1971 he was the editor of a publication called “Ang Iwag”.He also translated liturgical texts for weddings, funerals and blessing ceremonies for people’s use. In 2006 he was withdrawn from the Philippines and took up retirement in his native country of the Netherlands. He first lived at Sint Jozefhuis but moved to Vrijland in 2011.
Hans was very fortunate to spend all his life as a missionary in the Philippines. During that time he had seen the growth and development of the local church. He was part of that growth and made a positive difference in the lives of people because of his knowledge of the language, the commitment to justice, and his big heart for the people entrusted to him.
He calmly accepted the news that he was suffering from lung cancer; he even expressed his faith that the Lord will reward him for all his years of faithful service as a missionary priest. Last Saturday his illness took a turn for the worse. Fr Hans v.d. Eeden died peacefully early on Tuesday morning. The funeral mass will take place at “Missiehuis Vrijland” on Friday 20th July at 11.00am followed by burial at the Mill Hill cemetery at Oosterbeek.
The previous obituary(10/2012) was that of Fr Josef Wassermann, who died in Brixen, Italy, on 1st July 2012.
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