Deeply saddened, we announce that Brother Andrew died on Thursday, October 1 at the age of 71, as a result of an accident during his construction work. Together with his assistant Majd, he fell through an old balcony and died shortly afterwards. Majd was taken to the hospital seriously injured.
Our thoughts go out to relatives and friends of this so colorful man. He still was so active, even though he was over seventy years old. “Another 10 years,” he had said recently. “I hope the Almighty will give me that time.” Time to shape his mission for the Deaf and Deafblind. Time to share stories about his intense life journey as a priest, in which he showed himself as a loving (spiritual) “father” to many.
He has always longed to see his Brother, the “other carpenter’s son”, and follower of the Cross. How much they have to tell each other now! And how happy he will be to meet his brothers Leo and Roger again. The Kingdom he was so abound with, is just as abound with him now.
Those 10 years were too much to ask. Or was it too much to ask of him? Brother Andrew has gone his way with Him. And what a journey indeed! Undaunted, almost reckless as he served. With the same recklessness as the Father carried out his mercy plan, Brother Andrew worked on his task. He has helped thousands, brought life, hope and gave direction.
His construction work enabled him to rent an office for his further work. He wanted to make publications, help disabled children and use his knowledge to help others do that. That his life suddenly comes to an end on the construction site is extra bitter. It was his life’s blood … and in the end it also became his death.
So this was it? It ends like this? For a moment we recognize ourselves in the disciples who were disconcerted and confused after the death of Jesus Christ. And then resurrection came! No, Brother Andrew will not arise. He doesn’t have to. Because he was not the story. It doesn’t stop with him. His story continues. Because it is God’s story. And we ourselves can participate in that same story.
Brother Andrew’s legacy is huge. In what form this can be shared is unclear. Though it is certain that it must be shared. Let us take time to grieve the loss of our friend, brave priest, headstrong life artist, and intrepid follower of the Cross. Then we get to work, singing one of his favorite songs in our hearts:
Open my eyes, Lord
I want to see Jesus
to reach out and touch Him,
to know that He loves me
Open my ears, Lord
Teach me to listen
Open my heart, Lord
I want to see Jesus
On behalf of the board of The Carpenter’s Son Foundation and his niece Judith,
André, Tom, Christine, Ronald, Nellie and René