Obituary: Pax Christi International mourns the passing of Rev. Karel Eilers


by Paul Lansu, Senior Policy Advisor

On Sunday 24 September 2017, Rev. Karel Eilers passed away at the age of 84 at the hospital of Sint Augustinus, Wilrijk/Antwerp, Belgium.

Fr. Karel had been a dedicated, long-term volunteer with the Secretariat of Pax Christi International since 1995. His passion and expertise was on peace spirituality and peace theology, as well as on ecumenical dialogue and collaboration. Fr. Karel represented Pax Christi International on several occasions, including at the Second Ecumenical Assembly in Graz, Austria, in 1997, a landmark assembly that focused on justice, peace and the integrity of creation. He accompanied several Pax Christi peace pilgrimages, for instance to Poland and elsewhere, and served humbly as a spiritual guide in many of our activities and peace vigils.

Fr. Karel was a priest of the Diocese of Antwerp and had been working full-time with Pax Christi Flanders from 1979 until 1983. During that period he developed a strong peace pastoral dimension of the peace work of Pax Christi. During these years, the peace movement experienced strong expansion, impact and relevance both within the Catholic Church as well as in the broader civil and political society.

He had also been a chaplain of the hospital in Sint-Antonius (Zoersel) and parish priest at different places of which the two main parishes were Sint Cordula (Schoten) and Sint Pieter (Turnhout). Since 1995, Fr. Karel has been the pastor at the Priory Regina Pacis in Schoten (Antwerp).

Living nonviolently and promoting active nonviolence was part of Fr. Karel’s lifestyle and spiritual journey. He believed in active nonviolence as a positive and powerful force for social change. We will greatly miss him.

The funeral will take place on Friday 29 September 2017 at 11 am at the Benedictine's Priory Regina Pacis, Sint-Amelbergalei 35, Schoten. 

May his soul rest in the peace and love of Christ.

Karel Eilers, Pax Christi Flanders, Pax Christi Vlaanderen