Joannes Baptist Matthijs Gijsen
|Bishop of Reykjavík|
Bishop Gijsen in 2010
|Church||Roman Catholic Church|
|Diocese||Diocese of Roermond
Diocese of Reykjavík
October 7, 1932|
|Died||June 24, 2013
Joannes Baptist Matthijs Gijsen (October 7, 1932 - June 24, 2013) was a Dutch bishop of the Roman Catholic Church. After being Bishop (emeritus) of Roermond, Limburg, the Netherlands, he became Bishop (emeritus) of the Diocese of Reykjavík (Iceland). His episcopal motto is Parate viam Domini (Prepare the way of the Lord).
Gijsen was born in Oeffelt. He obtained a doctorate (Ph.D) in Church History.
Roermond, the Netherlands
Pope Paul VI appointed Gijsen as bishop of Roermond in 1972. In 1993 he resigned for health reasons.
After a few years at the titular see as bishop of Maastricht, (Traiectum ad Mosam), Gijsen's health improved. In Roermond, he had already been succeeded by bishop Frans Wiertz but in Reykjavik, the diocese with few priests for an enormous area, happened to have been vacant for two years, due to the rather sudden death of the American bishop, Alfred Jolson.
Bishop Gijsen moved from the heavily Catholic Dutch diocese to Reykjavik, where the Catholic population is very small and rising solely due to immigration. Gijsen remained bishop in Iceland for another ten years. On October 30, 2007, the Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation from the pastoral government of the Diocese of Reykjavík, presented by Joannes Gijsen, in accordance with canon 401 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law. Since then the bishop lived in Sittard (Limburg) as pastor of the Carmelite Sisters. In Reykjavik, he was succeeded by the Swiss-born bishop Pierre Bürcher.
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- Roman Catholic Diocese of Reykjavík (English) (Icelandic)