Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fr. Blondel RIP: the fourth priest to be murdered in South Africa this year.

Tango has sent me a newspaper report of Father's murder, I think in the Johannesburg area. He has posted it as a comment on my post of 30th of March this year: 'Father Sham knew us'.
Until I can post in greater detail please scroll to the post and read what Tango has sent. Fr. Blondel was 70 years old and it seems was taken to his eternal reward on the Eve of the Immaculate Conception. I know it is unnecessary to ask for your prayers, for Father, for the perpetrators of his murder and for South Africa.


Tango said...

Latest News report
Relief after priest’s alleged killers’ capture
Rahima Essop | 18h30 09/12/2009
(EWN 702)

A priest, who was with Catholic Priest Louis Blondel on the night he was murdered in Diepsloot, said on Wednesday he was relieved the people allegedly responsible for the 70-year-old’s death were behind bars.

Blondel was gunned down in the early hours of Monday morning during a robbery.

His attackers made off with computers, cell phones and money.

Five teenagers were arrested on Tuesday night along with a woman who was found in possession of the stolen property.

Father Guido Borgeious said: “I am happy that they have been arrested because they are a danger to society. If they can do that to us, they can do it to anybody.

Tango said...

Murdered priest - police praised for arrests
December 09 2009

The South African Council of Churches said it was pleased with the swift arrest on Wednesday of a group of youngsters accused of murdering Father Louis Blondel, a Roman Catholic priest in Diepsloot.

He was murdered when a group of people broke through burglar bars and shot him dead.

"We are overjoyed by the rapid response of the men and women in blue," said Eddie Makue, SACC general secretary. "We salute them for acting speedily and decisively in apprehending the criminals responsible for the burglary."

SACC president Tinyiko Maluleke extended condolences to the Blondel family and to the church.

"It's painful enough to lose a person to death," he said. "When the death is as violent and pointless as that of Father Blondel, the grief is even deeper.

"The fact that he was commissioned by the Catholic Church to provide pastoral and development services to this destitute community is a noble act.

"For a person offering services to a community to be killed by members of that same community is deplorable."

He called on people to support the police in "ending this mayhem".

Five teenagers have been arrested in connection with the murder.

Another priest, Father Guido Bourgeois, who lived in the house with Blondel, was the first to wake up during the robbery in which his cellphone and R50 were stolen.

Blondel was shot when he opened his bedroom door.

Bourgeois was able to run to the kitchen where he blocked the door with the fridge and screamed to wake the neighbours.

However, those who came to their rescue were forced to retreat when there was more shooting.

A woman in the area was arrested for buying Bourgeois's stolen cellphone. - Sapa

Tango said...


The body of Fr Louis Blondel, Missionary of Africa, will arrive
at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Diepsloot at 5pm. Archbishop Paul
Mandla Khumalo will receive the body. Fr Louis' body will remain in
the church for a night vigil.

Saturday 12 December:

The Requiem Mass for Fr Louis Blondel will be celebrated by
Archbishop Paul Mandla Khumalo, Archbishop of Pretoria at 11am.

The burial will take place after the service in the Catholic
Section of Westpark Cemetery.

All are welcome to attend. After the funeral service, all are
invited to follow the hearse on foot through Diepsloot as a sign of

Fr Chris Townsend
Information Officer
Office for Communication and Media.
Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC)
P.O.Box 941 Pretoria 0001 South Africa
Khanya House - 399 Paul Kruger Street, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: +27 (0)12 323 6458
Fax: +27 (0) 12 326 6218
Mobile: +27(0)82 783 4729

( Source link2media)

Tango said...

Obituary - Louis Blondel:
Priest with a love of life and humanity
Dec 12, 2009
By Chris Barron
Louis Blondel, who was murdered in his house in Diepsloot informal settlement outside Johannesburg at the age of 70, was a Catholic priest who devoted his life to the poorest of the poor in Africa.

Born into a well-to-do family in Lille, in the north of France, on June 14 1939, he studied theology and philosophy at the University of Human Sciences in Strasbourg.

He then joined the Missionaries of Africa and went to Tanzania.

He spent 16 years there working as a priest and professor of philosophy at a seminary in Kahagala which he designed and built himself.

Although he liked and respected former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere, he was aware of the terrible impact his socialist economic polices had on the population. He made it clear, both through the church and in meetings with Nyerere, a staunch Catholic, that he believed no policies that inflicted suffering could be justified.

Blondel came to South Africa in 1987 in response to a call from the then Bishop of Johannesburg, Reginald Orsmond, for white missionaries to work and live in Soweto as an act of defiance and solidarity with blacks.

He spent six years there at a parish in Zondi, which was regarded as the most violently crime-ridden area in the township, and then decided he wanted something more challenging.

He found it at Orange Farm, an informal settlement of spectacular poverty and deprivation that had begun to mushroom south of Johannesburg in 1990. Seeing it as a golden opportunity to do real missionary work, he moved in, built a community house, a church and a trade school which today, many years later, is still going strong. It teaches welding, carpentry, upholstery, sewing and computers to around 400 children at any one time who are then helped to find jobs.

At the same time he bought a farm and started an outreach programme to help people who were unemployed and fighting for survival to become self-reliant. He got hold of some lorries which went around the northern suburbs collecting old furniture, computers and anything else that could be taken back to the farm, fixed up and sold.

He also started small vegetable gardens on the farm which people would come and tend for their own benefit.

Blondel established eight churches in Orange Farm, each of which, in addition to providing a place for prayer on Sundays, ran offices that advised on HIV/Aids and helped old people get identity documents so they could register for pensions.

Blondel was a man who found fulfilment in situations of utter misery and deprivation. His passion was to place himself at the heart of communities where he felt the need was greatest, build them up and give them the means to be self-sustaining.

After 15 years in Orange Farm he needed a new challenge, and Diepsloot beckoned.

After only a year there he had built a small church and community house and was busy starting a crèche and a youth centre with a library and computers.

Blondel was a big man in every sense of the word. He had a deep, authoritative voice in which he spoke fluent Swahili, Zulu and Sotho. He loved French cuisine. Snails, red wine and camembert were particular weaknesses.

He had a Renault which he drove like Michael Schumacher. He collected more speeding fines than all 20 of his fellow Missionaries of Africa put together.

He was passionate about French rugby and football and offered a prayer when France qualified for the World Cup, even if it was, as he acknowledged, thanks to the "hand of frog".

He received the Legion of Honour about 10 years ago.

Crime is nothing new to the Missionaries of Africa. Every member of the order in South Africa has been a victim.

Father Guido Bourgeoif who was in the house with Blondel when he was killed, has been hijacked five times.
(The Sunday Times)

Tango said...

The report states that Louis Blondel was a Peoples Priest who worked untiringly for the poor.
South Africa and the world has lost a great man.May he rest in peace

Prayer for Priests
O Jesus, Eternal Priest,
keep all your priests within the shelter of your Sacred Heart, where none may harm them.
Keep unstained their anointed hands which daily touch your Sacred Body.
Keep unsullied their lips purpled* with your Precious Blood.
Keep pure and unearthly their hearts sealed with the sublime marks of your glorious* priesthood.
Let your holy love surround them and shield* them from the world's contagion. Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they have ministered* be here below* their joy and consolation and in Heaven* their beautiful and* everlasting crown. Amen.
Source: Posted on the Franciscan_Spirit mailing list on February 16, August 10, 2003 by Nadine Manour; also as prayer # 5 in: Chalice of Strength, Crusade for Priests, page 16. Detroit, Michican, 1996 (www.opusangelorum.org), where the author is named as St. Thérèse of the Chuld Jesus, and which has the following variants (probably due to a different translator):