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March 4, 2024

Happy anniversary Fr. Jan!

On Thursday, March 7, the local community at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the priesthood ordination of Fr. Jan de Jong, SCJ, during the community’s 8:30 a.m. Mass. Anyone is welcome to attend the liturgy.

“I was born and raised on a dairy farm in Ouder Amstel, not far from Amsterdam, the Netherlands,” wrote Fr. Jan in a “Twenty Questions” interview several years ago. “I am the oldest of the family of 12 children as well as the first grandchild of the de Jong family. My mother was a calm, caring, and regal person. On Sundays she prepared a festive meal for the whole family. My father was a dedicated farmer, proud of all his children. He loved to ice skate and taught us all the art of ice skating. When I was 12, I felt a vocation to the priesthood and began my studies at the minor seminary of the Priests of the Sacred Heart in Bergen op Zoom in the southern part of the Netherlands.”

Fr. Jan made his first profession in the Dutch Province. Ordained in 1964, he did his seminary studies in Holland and earned a doctorate in moral theology from the Academia Alfonsiana in Rome and a licentiate in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, also in Rome.

In 1969 he came to the US Province to put those degrees to work, first on the faculty of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology and later, as a chaplain and CPE director at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee, and Hermann Hospital and Methodist Hospital (both in Houston). From 1996-1999 he was novice master for the US Province before returning to SHSST to teach moral theology and systematic studies. In 2008 he was named president-rector of the seminary. He served in the role until his retirement in 2012. Br. Andy Gancarczyk, SCJ, will be offering a livestream of the Jubilee Mass. You can tune in at the following link.

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