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    Our dear departed

    Josse Henri Nijssen

    Josse Henri Nijssen

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    Frederic Vital Mees smallJosse Henri Nijssen  (1937-2022)


    Born in Zichem (Belgium) on January 17, 1937
    First vows on September 8, 1957
    Ordained a priest on August 8, 1962
    Missionary in Hong Kong and in Belgium.
    Died in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw (Belgium) on 17 June 2022
    at the age of 85.

    As he had always desired, Josse (Jos) left for the East in 1963. After a year of language study in Taiwan, he had a second year in Hong Kong.

    By then, he was ready for work. Because of his ability to study and teach, he was a Principal of primary and secondary schools for 14 years. From the testimony of our confrere Ferdinand Bouckhout, a missionary in Hong Kong, Jos did an excellent job there. Jos knew how to enjoy life. He also liked to smoke his pipe and had a golden heart. This “golden” heart was precious. Jos could be tough on the outside, but he would take the time to listen to people, help them, and assist them in their time of need.

    After his work in education, Jos became the diocesan leader of the Boy Scouts Association in Hong Kong for about eight years. He integrated very well in Hong Kong: he was always busy yet had time for everyone.

    Jos was appointed port chaplain at the Sailors’ Club after 23 years of living in Hong Kong. He became the man of the sea and the friend of the seafarers. He was the shepherd in his time who went to the periphery to look for the lost sheep. He was the “friend of the sailors” on the boats with the sailors. In the port, he was fully engaged in his missionary activity, primarily through his multicultural contact with, among others, Indonesian and Filipino seafarers. He stayed there for 20 years until his return to Belgium in 2007. Indeed, at the age of 70, he found it increasingly difficult to get on the boats.

    He came to Kessel-Lo with several good memories and many pictures. There he continued to devote himself to the cleanliness and order in the park and around the house for a long time. In 2017, he joined the community of Zuun to receive more appropriate care. He passed away on June 17, 2022. He would have celebrated his 60th year of priesthood this year.

    We place Jos’ rich life in the hands of God with gratitude.  

    Cyriel Stulens