Fr. Jan is one of those people that you instantly feel comfortable with when you meet him. Maybe it’s his gentle smile or gentile spirit. He grew up on a dairy farm in the Netherlands, the oldest of 12 children. At an early age Fr. Jan knew that there was more to life on the farm. He had an uncle who was a member of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. So, he left home at the age of 12 to enter a minor seminary.
He excelled in school. All the way to earning a Doctorate in moral theology and a licentiate in theology from Universities in Rome. Fr. Jan’s education brought him to teach at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in 1969. He later became a Novice master – a very important role in the development of future SCJs – and later he was asked to lead the School as President and Rector.
Fr. Jan also developed a specialty in what is called “Clinical Pastoral Education” which is the course of study for Hospital Chaplains. Even though he has been retired for many years, he keeps those skills and training to good use and visits one of the big hospitals in Milwaukee to serve as Chaplain one day a week. And, in his free time he can be found in his ice skates at the Olympic training facility in West Allis.
Let the Priests of the Sacred Heart pray for your loved ones and intentions.