Well-loved Dutch Vincentian missionary dies in Indonesia

In 1967, Father Paul Hendrikus Janssen established the Bhakti Luhur Foundation to help children with disabilities in Indonesia. (Photo supplied)

USCAN News of Asia features the following story about a much loved confrere Paul Hendrikus Janssen

East Java Catholics are mourning the death of popular Dutch Vincentian Father Paul Hendrikus Janssen, 95, who passed away on April 20, in Malang, East Java.

Father Janssen became well known for founding the Indonesian Pastoral Institute in Malang, the Association of the Institute for Lay Missionaries and orphanages for children with special needs.

“The Catholic Church in East Java has suffered a great loss. Father Janssen was a major force in building education,” Father Robertus Joko Sulistyo, head of Mater Dei Parish in Madiun, East Java, said.

He said the late priest loved children very much. “Father Janssen was particularly fond of disabled children and established many orphanages for them,” he said.

Born in Amsterdam, on Jan 29, 1922, he was ordained as a priest in July 1947.

He was sent by his congregation to become a missionary in China, but was forced to leave by the communists so went to Indonesia in 1951.

In 1967 he moved to Malang and established the Bhakti Luhur Foundation to help disabled children.

The Bhakti Luhur Foundation has more than 400 houses in which over 2,000 children live.

The foundation serves in 15 provinces.

The government recognized Father Janssen’s work and he received a Setya Lencana award from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

He was buried on April 24 in, Malang, East Java.