Pierre Defoux, SJ
BELGIUM, personalized stamps (labels) for Pierre Defoux, SJ
The image to the right is taken from the cover of the 8-23 October 2011 Exposition featuring his drawing and ceramic work
Pierre Defoux, a member of the Jesuit Province of Southern Belgium and Luxembourg, was born in Arlon on March 16, 1924, the second in a family of eight children. His brother Max became a missionary to Japan, a member of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary [CICM] and his brother André is a priest of the diocese of Namur. At the end of his secondary studies at the Collège Notre-Dame de la Paix in Namur, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Guirsch on September 14, 1942. There followed years of classical studies and philosophy, of teaching in Léopoldville and Charleroi, and of theology at Enghien with the French Jesuits. During this time he produced for les editions Dupuis in Marcinelle the famous comic strip dedicated to Saint Francis Xavier. Misunderstandings by superiors actually helped Pierre deepen his free spirit of humor, tact, depth, discretion and concern for others. He was ordained priest at Enghien on the feast of St. Ignatius in 1955. Pierre joined the College of St. Servais in Liège as a teacher from 1959 to 1966 and chaplain to cadets. He was at the Collège St-Michel in Brussels from 1966 to 1970. Then he went to the college at Godinne where he participated actively in an educational reform within a team of enthusiastic teachers, sharing his talents as sculptor, painter, writer, storyteller, writer and director.
With other members of the Jesuit community, he transformed the main chapel of the college. In 1988, he retired from teaching and became parish priest of Mont-Godinne. This was a period of intense artistic creation: ceramics and painting. Jesuit communities, the college at Godinne, surrounding parishes, and Mont-Godinne hospital all became main custodians of his works. He then joined the community of Plomcot in Namur where he was superior from 2002 to 2005. Because of vision problems, he had to limit his artistic activities. During the six years that followed he was member of the Our Lady of Peace community in Namur, and during that time he discovered that he suffered from Parkinson's disease. He joined the St. Claude La Colombière community in Brussels in 2011. His arrival in Brussels corresponded with the organization in Godinne of an exhibition where many of his works were collected. Pierre died in Bruxelles February 3, 2013.