Watching the Mass for the Dutch pilgrims in St. Peter’s yesterday, I noticed the mentioning of Bishop Aloysius Zichem in the bidding prayers, asking us to pray for his eternal rest. The Diocese of Paramaribo indeed announces the death of the first native bishop of the sole diocese of Suriname.
Bishop Karel Choennie writes:
“On Sunday 13 November, at 17:45, our beloved Monsignor Aloysius Zichem left us at the age of 83. Monsignor Zichem was ordained as bishop on 7 February 1970 and has served the Roman Catholic community for 32 years with pastoral love and dedication as bishop of Paramaribo. After having suffering a stroke on 31 December 2002, he presented his resignation to the Church authorities in Rome, which was subsequently honourably granted to him in 2003.
For 14 years, Monsignor Zichem bore his suffering patiently and in silence, even while being meaningfully present among the faithful and in society. As bishop of Paramaribo, Monsignor Zichem not only lovingly gave himself for the Church and her members, but dedicated himself with heart and soul as an upright human being for our entire society. Especially during the great challenges in the history of our nation, Monsignor Zichem always had compassion with all of society and fully dedicated himself to maintaining justice, peace and harmony in the country he so loved.
Further information regarding mourning, farewell and burial will be announced.
Pray for him, that he may rest in peace with the merciful Father.
On behalf of the Roman Catholic community,
Bishop of Paramaribo”
May he rest in peace.