The catholic community in Dominica is mourning the death of a Roman catholic priest.

Fr. Charles Vermeulen C.Ss.R. was born on 14 January 1931 in Ouwegem, Belgium, the sixteenth child of his parents. He attended Ouwegem Primary School, he attended Secondary School at the Redemptorist Juvenate in Essen, Belgium. He entered the Redemptorist Novitiate at St. Truiden, Belgium on 15 August 1951, and was professed on 15 September 1952. Fr. Charles studied Philosophy in Beauplateau, Belgium from 1952-1954. Fr. Charles did his theological studies in Louvain, Belgium from 1954-1958. He was ordained to the Priesthood in 1957.

Father Charles Vermeulen who served in Dominica for over 60 years passed at princess Margaret hospital on Sunday.

He arrived in Dominica from Belgium in 1959 when the Redemptorist Missionaries came to Dominica in 1903, to help fulfill Christ mission to spread the Good News and since then has worked in many parishes across Dominica.

According to Redemptorist Missionaries of the English Caribbean, “His missionary life took him to the islands of St. Kitts, Anguilla, and Antigua. However, Dominica would be where he would spend almost 60 years of his life. He embraced the people of Dominica with a love that comes from the heart, they became his people. The struggle, the hopes and the challenges of the people became his. Every corner of our country has been touched by his love and care. Fr. Charles has preached the Gospel, has worked to help build many of the churches we worship in, and has taught in our schools. When Dominica was ravaged by a devastating hurricane, he stepped up and played a key role in the reconstruction of the country.”

In 2OO6,Fr. Charles Vermeulen C.Ss.R. was awarded the Sisserou award of Honor, the country’s second highest national award.

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