Dom Marcellin Theeuwes O. Cart., the 72nd successor of St. Bruno, has passed away. He died after a long illness on January 2 at the southern French Charterhouse of Méounes-lès-Montrieux.
Our Lord and heavenly Father, Marcellin is gone now from this earthly dwelling and has left behind those who mourn his absence. Grant that we may hold his memory dear, never bitter for what we have lost nor in regret for the past, but always in hope of the eternal Kingdom where you will bring us together again. Through Christ our Lord. R/. Amen.
Jacobus Johannes Maria Theeuwes, known by family and friends Jac, was born on 12 May 1936 in Gilze-Rijen, between Breda and Tilburg in the Netherlands, he was the youngest son. He had six older brothers.
From a very early age, Jac felt a monastic vocation. He made contact with the then flourishing Cistercian Abbey Marienkroon. This monastery had a good reputation and a great attraction for young men in those years. Jac Theeuwes devoted himself in Marienkroon theological studies. In this monastic atmosphere he became attentive through spiritual reading both on the Carthusian order and on its deep spirituality. He felt the call to live in a deeper solitude. The way of life of the Carthusians seemed to correspond to his calling.
Jac decided to become a Carthusian and enters on December 7, 1961 in the Charterhouse Selignac (Department Ain, France). He was ordained a priest on June 25, 1966; On December 8 of the same year he makes his solemn profession and received the religious name Marcellin. The monks of his monastery recognised his many talents and he soon became procurator in Selignac.
On June 11, 1973 Dom Marcellin was sent in the same function in the southern French Charterhouse Mougères. This monastery, located in the middle of the Languedoc vineyards, would be vacated and transferred to another religious order. Dom Marcellin was responsible for ensuring a smooth retreat in November 1977, as well as a good transition of the monastery to the community of the Sisters of the Monastic Family of Bethlehem, of the Assumption of the Virgin and of Saint Bruno.
After completing this discipline he returned to the Order on 17 November 1977 as a procurator in the Charterhouse of Montrieux in the Department of Var. The monks of this Charterhouse elected him as their prior on April 27, 1983.
When the Carthusian Prior General Dom André Poisson (1923-2005) stepped down from this position in 1997 as Prior of La Grande Chartreuse, the Carthusians elected Dom Marcellin, who was esteemed throughout the Order, as their new Prior entrusted to the order of the Prior of the Great Charterhouse and the Reverendus Pater, the Prior General of the Carthusian Order.
During his time as Prior various important decisions were made. Some Charterhouses had to be closed. There were new male monasteries in Argentina, Brazil and Korea; in Asia they also opened a women’s charterhouse. More opportunities were increasingly created for the nuns, comparable to that of the monks, to live in individual houses, so allowing them greater solitude.
For health reasons, Dom Marcellin Theeuwes resigned in September 2012 from his posts and asked for mercy, to acceptance of his resignation. It was granted to him – by the Order but also by the Holy See.
His last years he spent again in the Charterhouse Montrieux, where he served his brothers as Prior. He died on 2 January 2019 after a long illness.
Requiescat In Pace et Amore