Fr. Stephen Cansse RIP

“Et audivi vocem magnam de throno dicentem ecce tabernaculum Dei cum hominibus et habitabit cum eis et ipsi populus eius erunt et ipse Deus cum eis erit eorum Deus. Et absterget Deus omnem lacrimam ab oculis eorum et mors ultra non erit neque luctus neque clamor neque dolor erit ultra quae prima abierunt”
(Revelation 21.3-4)

Almighty God, our heavenly father, has called to Himself our dear confrere
Fr Stephen Luc Cansse, O.Praem.
Member of the Canonry of Corpus Christi, Manchester
23rd March 1929 ~ 17th September 2008

Fr Stephen Luc Mary Francis Henry Cansse was born in Ghent on 23rd March 1929, the second son of Eugene and Mary Cansse. He was educated at the Diocesan Grammar school run by local clergy. He entered the abbey of Tongerlo after school on 14th August 1948. During theological studies he served his two years of National Service. He was solemnly professed on 11th July 1954 and ordained a priest on 22nd August 1954. He completed his studies in 1955 and then began general work around the abbey.

He was sent to help in England and arrived in Storrington on 15th September 1956. His first duties were helping with the novitiate and then headmaster of St Norbert’s College (now closed). At the independence of the Canonry in 1962 he was appointed Sub Prior and Novice Master. In 1964 he took charge of the Priory farm. In 1967 he also took charge of the Priory print works. In 1976 was assigned to care for the Houghton Chapel near Storrington and the local parochial district. In 1977 he was appointed Parish Priest of Crowle. In 1983 he was appointed to Stainforth parish and was the last Norbertine priest to serve there. At the end of 1983 he returned to Storrington and again took charge of Houghton chapel and district. In 1987 he was appointed Novice Master. In 1990 he became the Parish Priest of Storrington. In 1992 he retired due to ill health but continued to work as part of the “parish ministry team.” He also took over as Moderator of the Third Order and director of the annual novenas.

In 2002 he moved to live in Corpus Christi Priory Manchester. At the formation of the new Canonry in 2004 he was appointed Novice Master and Moderator of the Third Order. In 2006 he retired from his post of Novice Master but continued to teach some lessons and give spiritual direction. At the beginning of September this year, he journeyed to Belgium to attend his brother’s jubilee at the Benedictine Abbey of St Andrew, Bruges. On Friday 5th September 2008 he suffered a massive stroke and went into a coma from which he never recovered. He went peacefully to the Lord on 17th September 2008.

Fr Stephen has always been a faithful and kind confrere. His unfailing cheerfulness was always a source of comfort and strength. He will be missed by all who knew him especially the novices and juniors he has cared for over the years.

By kind permission of the Abbot and community, Fr Stephen will be buried at the Abbey of Tongerlo, which he always thought of as his spiritual home. The Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Tuesday 23rd September 2008 at 11 a.m. followed by burial in the Abbey cemetery.

Please remember Fr Stephen in your prayers.
The Administrator and Confreres of Corpus Christi Canonry, Manchester
Fr Andre Cansse O.S.B. and all the Cansse family

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