Norbert Maertens Albaan Maria


Father Alban Maria from Emelgem (Norbert Maertens)

He was born on 1-1-1937
He entered the Order on 11-9-1956
He was ordained a priest on 13-7-1963
He left Belgium for Lahore on 17-12-1964
He left Lahore and arrived in Belgium on 24-4-1999

On arrival in Lahore he stayed in Gulberg to study Punjabi. His first appointment was Adha on 22-4-1965. He was transferred to Jamke Cheema on 27-11-1966 and back to Adha on 1-4-1967.He visited all the villages entrusted to his pastoral care. He built many churches in different villages.

He returned to Adha after his home leave on 11-9-1969. He built a very large church at Wazirabad. The bishop of Lahore blessed the church on 3-3-1970 in the presence of a large crowd of Catholics. He returned to Adha after his home leave on 28-4-1973 to continue his pastoral duties. He went for the third time on home leave on 30-4-1977. When he returned to Lahore he was transferred Jamke Cheema on 19-9-1977. He built in these years the convent of the Dominican Sisters and a school for girls in Jamke Cheema.

He went on home leave again in 1985. He was transferred to Karachi on his return to Pakistan to start a friary of the Capuchin Order for the Capuchin students, who were studying in the Major Seminary. He was appointed the first guardian of the Capuchin friary on 13-6-1986 after he had a house near the Major Seminary. He has always been helping the local parish priest in the pastoral work during his stay in Karachi. He regularly visited the Punjabi families nearby.

He went on sick leave to Belgium on 25-11-1995 and returned to Pakistan on 21-9-1996.

After his stay in Karachi he has been living for a certain time in St. Francis Friary, Kot Lakhpat, and Lahore. He was later transferred to Adha, and then he left Pakistan for good on 23-4-1999. After his return to Belgium he has been appointed in the friary of Izegem on 20-8-1999. He was appoint-ted as “Rector Ecclesiae” on 20-8-2000. He was appointed as guardian of the friary on 23-4-2003 and is still guardian up till now (March 2011).

Fr. Alban has always been and still is an example of a Capuchin missionary and is very active in the pastoral work.