From the Jesuit Post:
When I woke up Monday morning, I went directly to check my emails, all the media were talking about the assassination of Father Frans van der Lugt, S.J. On the morning of 7 April 2014, he was “abducted by masked gunmen from [his] residence at Homs, in Syria, where he used to live, and was executed by gun shots…Despite the dangers, he had voluntarily decided to remain in the city of Homs in solidarity with the people who could not leave the city. He remains in our thoughts and prayers.”1 Outside of Syria, “Frans” – as we preferred to call him – was not a household name like Fr. Kolvenbach – another great Dutch missionary from my own native Middle-East Province who served the Society of Jesus as its Superior General. Yet, people who knew him knew the simple, generous, and loving man that he was. Part of me was trying to celebrate Frans as one who devoted his life for a purpose, and he has now just fulfilled it. But another part of me is heartbroken at losing a great companion, a Jesuit who inspired all of Syrian Jesuits through the last decades.