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Father John Niessen


1924 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Father  John Niessen Obituary
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FATHER JOHN NIESSEN, SVD 1924 2014 Father John Niessen was born in Beesel, Holland (Netherlands) on June 26, 1924. He was the second of five children of William and Maria Niessen. Two brothers, William and Louie and two sisters, Mary and Ann live in Holland. Mary is a nun (Sister Imaria Niessen, SSpS) of the Holy Spirit Missionary Order. Father John professed vows in 1945 and was ordained on August 19, 1951 at St. Francis Xavier in Teteringen, Holland. After ordination he spent a year in Siegburg, West Germany (near Bonn) doing some more theological studies. Returning to Holland, for the next 11 years Father John was assigned to Deurne as a teacher and in the meantime pursued his advanced studies for a degree in Sociology. Between 1963-65 he joined the SVD staff of the Mission Center in Soesterberg "Contact between the continents." In 1965, the Center sent John Niessen for study, orientation and work in social research in Columbia. After a stint in Columbia, John Niessen attended school in pastoral theology in Quito, Ecuador sponsored by the Latin American Bishops Conference. After his experience in Latin America, he asked for a transfer and assignment in Mexico. After a brief stint in Mexico, he came to California and helped out in St. Raphael Parish in Goleta, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Santa Barbara and Sacred Heart Parish in Pomona. In 1978, the Superior General assigned John to the USA Western Province. John worked tirelessly in St. Anthony Parish, San Bernardino and at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Blythe, California. In retirement, he was an avid reader, kept up with current events and the many happenings in the Church. A faithful subscriber to the Tablet of London, America Magazine, Commonwealth and many other scholarly publications. He reads them with "gusto" and a very good conversationalist till the very end of his life. He did a lot of supply work in many parishes in and around the Diocese of San Bernardino. In all his parish assignments, he was well loved. People talked about his gentleness and his deep spirituality a holy man. John was a man of deep prayer - who recognized in his own life that all is God's grace. On Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. there will be a Viewing and Rosary at the Divine Word Residence, Riverside. Bishop Gerald Barnes of the Diocese of San Bernardino will be the main celebrant for the Funeral Mass on Thursday, 1 p.m. August 21, 2014 at Queen of Angels Church, Riverside. Father Provincial Soney Sebastian will conduct the burial service at Crestlawn Memorial Park, La Sierra Ave., Riverside after the Funeral Mass. The SVD community invites everyone for a reception at Divine Word Residence immediately following the burial service. Rest well John. May many angels take you to your rest. We, your SVD confreres will miss your loving presence among us. Enjoy now the face of our God, whom you served so lovingly and so well. Please visit www.piercebroscrestlawn.com to offer condolences.


Published in Press-Enterprise on Aug. 20, 2014
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