In loving memory of Fr Johannes Römelt C.SS.R.

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On Saturday, March 9, Father Johannes Römelt C.SS.R. died unexpectedly in Basel (Switzerland). He was a member and former superior of the Province of St. Clement of the Congregation of the Redemptorists. Most recently, he was the Coordinator of the Redemptorist Conference of Europe.

Funeral arrangements

The Redemptorists and the family members and relatives will bid Fr. Johannes Römelt farewell as follows:

March 21, at 7.30 p.m. (local time) – Funeral vespers in the Redemptorist monastery church in Josephshöhe, Kölnstr. 415, 53117 Bonn.

March 22, at 11.30 a.m. (local time) – The Mass will be held in the St. Aegidius Church, Buschdorfer Str. 60, 53117 Bonn. The deceased’s body will then be buried in the Nordfriedhof in Bonn.

The live stream of the Mass on March 22 will be available on the Scala News YouTube channel.


In loving memory of Father Johannes Römelt, PhD,
Redemptorist (1960-2024)

by Eric Corsius

It was a shock when the news came at midday on Saturday, March 9, that Father Johannes Römelt had died suddenly that morning. He was staying with friends and preparing for a museum visit, one of his favourite leisure activities.

Father Johannes Römelt was born in Salzgitter on 5 November 1960. He spent his youth in Bonn, where he graduated from the Collegium Josephinum Bonn in 1979. After his novitiate in Forchheim, he took his first vows with the Redemptorists on September 7 1980. This was followed by his philosophical and theological studies in Geistingen (1980-1987). During this time, he took his vows for life in 1983. From 1984 to 1985, he studied at the Redemptorist Institute of Moral Sciences in Madrid. On July 26 1987, he was ordained priest.

After his studies, Fr. Römelt gained practical experience in confession and counselling ministry (1987-1988) in Trier. This was followed by eight years of postgraduate studies with the Jesuits in Munich. He completed his doctorate there in 1996 with a thesis on Wilhelm Dilthey. Fr Römelt was apparently fascinated by a thinker who was fundamentally concerned with understanding.

Since 1996, he has been responsible for the formation and leadership in his Province. He was an (almost) uninterrupted member of the provincial chapter and the provincial council of the Province of Cologne and (from 2005, after the restructuring) of the Province of St Clement. He was the rector of the German-speaking Redemptorists in Würzburg (1996-2005). This was followed by six years at the Kirchhellen “youth monastery” (2005-2010).

During this time, he was also appointed superior of the Cologne region of the Province of St Clement (2008) until he was elected provincial in 2011.

He continued in this office until the end of 2017 when he was appointed Coordinator of the Redemptorist Conference of Europe—a task he fulfilled until the end of his life. In this role, he was largely responsible for organising the 26th General Chapter (2022-2023).

Fr. Johannes Römelt always combined his missionary commitment to science and education and his service in leadership with personal counselling and accompaniment. As a man of prayer and the word, he enjoyed celebrating the liturgy, preaching and proclamation. Diligent and balanced formulations were essential to him.

He also valued an excellent command of the languages needed in his ministry, in which he was addressed and had to speak. As an art lover, aesthetics was also a significant interest for him in many areas.

He was characterised by balance and care in leadership, pastoral ministry, and personal contact. He sought to understand and listen carefully and patiently to the spirit and the signs of the times.

This all made Johannes Römelt loved as a person and a welcome, good friend.

He liked the following words, which seem to me to reflect well his way of doing things in life:

“We should work on perfecting our dynamic quality. We should prioritise what uplifts our soul and our vibes and liberates us internally: love, compassion, empathy, tolerance, the ability to forgive, a smile, balance, wisdom, and kindness. In our daily actions towards others and ourselves – through meditation, prayer, through everything that can raise our level of consciousness and bring us closer to enlightenment.” (Bertrand Piccard, Changing the Altitude)

Dear Johannes, our travel companion, go now with God, your Saviour. May the angels accompany you to paradise.

Wittem, Netherlands – March 12th 2024

(www.stclemens.org)

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