Father John Van de Paer, CICM

Nov 29 1920
Feb 9 2021
100 Years
Antwerp, Belgium

Known as "The People's Priest," Father John lived his life as a testament to both justice and love.

Father John Van de Paer was born in Antwerp, Belgium, Nov. 29, 1920. He studied in Brussels and Louvain, Belgium, and joined the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, also known as Missionhurst, upon graduation from high school in 1940.  After ordination on Jan. 26, 1947, Father John was assigned to work in the United Sates in 1948 as parochial vicar at St. Cyprian Church in Columbus, Ohio.  In 1952, Father John was transferred to St. Charles Borromeo Church in Philadelphia, a largely African-American parish, where he served as parochial vicar and later pastor from 1952 through 1995.  After his official retirement in Philadelphia, Father John left retirement to serve as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Consolation Church in Parkesburg, PA, from 1996 to 2014.  Upon leaving Parkesburg, Father Van de Paer resided in Missionhurst’s Dominion House in Arlington, VA, from 2014 until his death. For his 100th birthday, friends from near and far participated in a drive-by parade and joined a Zoom birthday party celebration to honor Father John.  After Christmas, he was presented with a newly-published book entitled “Amazing Grace: A Journey of Love,” which included a collection of stories from former parishioners.  Sales from this tribute book have already raised $15,000 for the Equal Justice Initiative.  The funeral for Father John Van de Paer is scheduled at St. Charles Borromeo in Philadelphia for 6pm on Sunday, February 28 with burial taking  place on Monday, March 1 at Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon, PA. 

A Funeral Mass will also be held at Our Lady of Consolation Church at 11 AM on Monday, March 1, 2021. Friends and family are invited to attend a visitation period taking place from 9:30 AM until the start of the service.  

 In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Father's name to Our Lady of Consolation Parish for building maintenance,

      603 W. 2nd Avenue, Parkesburg, PA  19365.    


                                                     "The smile. The joy. The compassion. The honesty. The strength.                                            

The faith. The talent. The humor. The intelligence

The courage. The fire. The vision. The ingenuity.

The humility. The passion. The presence.

The grace.


The Life of Father John Van de Paer.

An inspired Journey of Love!"

                                                                                                                                                                                    ~Amazing Grace: A Journey of Love!                                                    









Service Date: 
Mar 2 2021 - 10:59am
Service Location: 
Our Lady of Consolation- 603 W 2nd Ave, Parkesburg, PA 19365


Father John was a local legend. He filled our hearts with the Spirit of Christianity and his own brand of humor. Father  lived his life as God intended bestowing blessing on so many.

Gods speed,

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So sorry 😪for your loss such a loving caring person/ father he will be missed ❤

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How do you say farewell to Father John. Its impossible! He is everything around us. He's that voice in your ear, the repeating heartbeat. He was/is the voice of reasons understanding. Never forceful, but always direct. His faith shined like crystal being hit by the sun. You knew he was a Man of God. Heaven is having church and praise your name Father John.. Hug Robbie and Ryan for me. I love you most. "When the breeze passes let out lives touch." Forever Carole .

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It was always such a pleasure when Father John came to Fineskinde Farm to work with Ted Wilson!  Father was always there to lend a helping hand!  Father John, please give Helen and Ted Wilson a hug for me.  Sending my love and prayers, Ann Wilson

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