ⓘ Emilius Seghers

Emilius Seghers

ⓘ Emilius Seghers

Seghers was born in Ghent on 3 September 1855, the son of a lawyer. He studied at the Jesuit secondary school in Ghent and the minor seminary. In 1874 he entered the Major Seminary of Ghent for three years of Theology, which he followed with another three years at the Catholic University of Leuven, graduating Licentiate of Sacred Theology in 1880.

After a few months as an assistant in a parish in Ghent he was appointed professor of Moral Theology at the Major Seminary and an honorary canon of Ghent Cathedral on 9 December 1880.

In 1888 he resigned his teaching position and asked the bishop, Henri-Charles Lambrecht, to send him to a working-class parish. On 26 July 1888, he was appointed parish priest of St John the Baptists church. In April 1898 it became the seat of a new deanery. In February 1917, five months after the death of Antoon Stillemans bishop 1890–1916, Seghers was appointed to succeed as bishop. He was consecrated on 1 May the same year, taking In cruce salus as his motto. His position was made more difficult by the German occupation of Belgium during World War I.

After the First World War, Seghers promoted spiritual renewal through Eucharistic Congresses, which were held in Ghent 1922, Eeklo 1923 and Sint-Niklaas 1924, and diocesan pilgrimages of Lourdes, which were organised from 1921 onwards. He also founded a Federation of Catholic Women in the diocese. In 1926, suffering from ill health, he asked for a coadjutor, and in March 1927 Honore Jozef Coppieters was appointed such. Seghers died in Ghent on 17 May 1927.


1. Publications

  • Statuta in Synodo diocesana Ghent, 1924
  • Het gewestelijk eucharistisch congres van Sint-Niklaas Ghent, 1923
  • Het diocesaan eucharistisch Congres te Gent Ghent, 1922
  • Het gewestelijk eucharistisch congres van t Meetjesland Ghent, 1924