On Friday morning, 21 June 2019, just after the announcement of the death of Sister Thérèse-Marie in Dourgne, our Brother Joseph Vayssade left for the Father’s house.

At his death, he was 86 years old, born in La Combette (Aveyron), France on 8 August 1932, and professed at En Calcat on 11 July 1952.

Brother Joseph was the second of fourteen children, and he was introduced to agricultural work at a very young age. He arrived at En Calcat at the age of thirteen to be a “little Oblate” and to become a “lay brother”. From his youth until the very end, he was a gentle and humble man, docile, discreet, and silent. Not inclined to speak too much of himself, he remained as serious as he was smiling.

Shortly after the founding of Dzogbégan in Togo, Brother Joseph was sent as a reinforcement, and for forty years, he gave everything he could to this monastery, as much in prayer and the kindness of his welcome as for his mechanical ability, where he excelled in maintaining and repairing vehicles, tractors, generators and machines of all kinds. He was even briefly the master of postulants, then of novices.

Brother Joseph was still very active at the age of 70, when memory problems and disorientation alerted the brothers to the Alzheimer’s disease that was looming. He had to return to En Calcat in April 2007. Since then, he lived patiently, without revolt, during a progressive loss of autonomy and speech, until it was impossibile for him to communicate.

We give thanks to the Lord for the Gospel sign that he was among his brothers. The funeral mass was celebrated on Saturday 22 June 2019 at 3.00 p.m. at the Abbaye Saint Benoît d’En Calcat in Dourgne, France.

The Abbot and Community
Abbaye Saint Benoît d’En Calcat in Dourgne, France