Even in the next decades different occasions were seen considered to throw light upon the life and the merits of V. Scheppers.
In 1964 an academic sitting took place in Mechelen to remember the 125th birthday of the congregation’s foundation.
The hundredth birthday of V. Scheppers’ death was solemnly commemorated in 1977.
The Brothers of V. Scheppers
The investigation in connection with the beatification didn’t pass very smoothly. V. Scheppers’ name although was still anchored in social life by the schools that carried his name.
On the facade of the “melaan”, the Brother congregation called themselves “Brothers of Scheppers”. To a few faithful admirers, the hope for an ecclesiastical admission for the merits of V. Scheppers was kept lively.
On March the 16th 1987, V. Scheppers was declared ”respectable” by pope Johannes Paulus II. To the Brothers this was an affirmation of their conviction and a reward for all their efforts with a view to the beatification.
Proudly Brother Richard wrote: “From this time on he’ll shine, like the priest Poppe from “Moerzeke”, like Father Damian from “Tremelo” and like Father Valentine from “Hasselt” in the honourful row of respectable people from our country.”
The reverence and the invocation of the honourful priest V.J.B.C. Scheppers gives its most important expression around his tomb in the Scheppersinstitue in “Mechelen”.
At the 150th birthday’s occasion of the congregation in 1989, the attachment to V. Scheppers was once again expressed in all schools of the congregation. The memorial book, published in different languages, firstly shows the celebrations in Italy though.
Has the interest diminished since then? The older members of the congregation see that their number diminishes and the education is almost completely in the hands of laymen. The references to the founder stay alive, but they don’t possess a tone of joy and triumph anymore.
Probably his memory and inspiration live further far most in Italy. In the beginning of the 1990’s, torch-light processions were organized yearly as a kind of relay, run between the settlement places of the Brothers institutions.
The present General Superior Roberto Piccolo leaves no stone unturned in order to put the Brothers apostolate on a new footing.
Source: SCHEPPERS, OUR SCHOOL by An Hermans, printed in 2002