Cebu’s pioneering ‘exorcist’ passes away

A CEBU church official well known for his work of addressing alleged demonic possessions has passed away.

Msgr. Frederick Kriekenbeek, known as one of the Archdiocese of Cebu’s pioneering exorcists, passed away at the age of 90.

He died peacefully on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, the Archdiocese reported on its official Facebook (FB) page on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

During the time of the late Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Kriekenbeek was given authority to conduct exorcisms.

But while Kriekenbeek then served as an exorcist for the Archdiocese, his position was never formalized.

It was only in 2019 that Kriekenbeek, along with six priests and a layman, were appointed by Vidal’s successor, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, as the founding members of the Archdiocese of Cebu Office of Deliverance and Exorcism (ACODE), whose task is to address reported demonic possessions in Cebu.

He was known for conducting successful exorcisms in several places in different years.

In 2012, Kriekenbeek conducted an exorcism of 31 students from the Jaclupan National High School in Talisay City who were reportedly driven mad after being possessed by evil spirits.

More exorcists

The Archdiocese’s ministry of deliverance and exorcism will continue Kriekenbeek’s work.

Aside from Kriekenbeek, Palma also appointed Msgr. Rommel Kintanar, Augustinian priest Fr. Andres Rivera, OSA; Fathers Michael Fortich, Monico Catubig and Ralph Perez; and Brother Cedee Ngo as official exorcists.

Other ministries

Aside from his work as an exorcist and priest, Kriekenbeek was also the founder of several religious communities in Cebu, such as the religious sisters of the Living the Gospel Community (LGC) and the Mary’s Little Children Community (MLCC), a community of religious priests.

According to the Archdiocese of Cebu, Kriekenbeek was also instrumental in the establishment and development of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement.

He also served as one of those who helped in the growth of the Archdiocese’s Catechetical Training Institute.

According to a profile provided by the Conference of Major Superiors in the Philippines, Kriekenbeek was born on April 12, 1932, in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.

Kriekenbeek was brought up by his parents abroad and he eventually studied at Harvard University in the US in 1950. He was supposed to pursue a career in International Law after entering Harvard Law School, but was drawn to the priestly life.

In 1954, Kriekenbeek entered the school of St. Philip Neri for Delayed Vocations for Latin and Greek in Boston despite opposition from his family and friends.

A year later, he entered St. John Seminary in Massachusetts and was ordained there on Feb. 2, 1961. He eventually returned to the Philippines to continue his vocation.

On his Facebook page, Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr. expressed sadness over Kriekenbeek’s death.

Gullas said he last met Kriekenbeek in March of last year at the MLCC’s congregation in Barangay Tabunok in Talisay City.

“Though his work as a priest is often overshadowed by his work as the Archdiocese’s official exorcist, Msgr. Fred was known for his love of the community,” Gullas said.

On its FB page, the Archdiocese of Cebu announced on Tuesday afternoon that Kriekenbeek’s remains currently lie in state at the Sacred Heart Parish mortuary on D. Jakosalem St., Cebu City.

His remains will be transferred to the MLCC chapel in Tabunok, Talisay City, on Thursday morning, Sept. 29.

On Saturday, Kriekenbeek’s remains will be transferred to the LGC Mother House and Formation House in Barangay Mantalongon, Barili town. At 3 p.m., a funeral mass will be held in his honor.