Ils nous ont quitté !

 V + J

The Life story of the late

Fr. René Albert Bientz, OSFS (29-07-1921 –01-10-2011)

Fr. Bientz was born on July 29, 1921 at Strasbourg, France. After he finished his High School he decided to join the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.  He made his first Vows on September 25, 1939 (the same year that the Second started). He made his Final Vows on March 25, 1943 and was ordained to the priesthood three years later on July 16, 1946 in his hometown Strasbourg. (a year after the Second World War finished). Not long after he was ordained he expressed the desire to go to the Missions. His wish was granted and he came to South Africa on October 6, 1948 together with the late Fr. André Meyer.  He worked in different Missions of the Diocese of Keimoes-Upington and made a deep impact on the lives of the underprivileged en the poor. He had compassion with the poor in the Missions. He worked at the following Mission Stations:

Kamieskroon     1950-1956
Onseepkans      1956-1981
Keimoes         1981-2001
Vredendal        2001-2011

Fr. Bientz served as Regional Superior at different times over the many years in the Missions. He also served as Vicar General of the Diocese of Keimoes-Upington under the late Bishop John B. Minder. After his retirement in 2001 he decided to move to Vredendal-Vergenoeg where he spent the last ten years (10) of his life. Despite the fact that he was a retired, he was still willing to help out in various Missions. On July 29, 2011 he celebrated his 90th birthday in Vredendal and soon after he was admitted to the local hospital with a broken ankle. He was moved to the Old Age home of the hospital and remained there until his death on October 01, 2011. It is significant that he died on the feast of St. Teresa of Lisieux, a French Carmelite nun, who had a deep love for the missions. May his soul rest in peace.

                                               D. S. B.