John M. Systermans

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John M. Systermans (died May 28, 1989)[1] was born Jean-Marie Systermans,[citation needed] but was better known as Father Henry Systermans or Pater Henri Systermans. He was a 20th-century Belgian-born missionary and priest with the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.[2] He served for most of his life in Hawaii[3] most notably during the 1950s at the leper colony at Kalaupapa on Molokai. His service there followed in the tradition of fellow Belgian priest, Saint Damien, and his contributions were part of the research gathered by Gavan Daws for the definitive biography Holy Man: Father Damien of Molokai.[4]

On August 9, 1958 he was elected as the seventh Superior General of the order.[5] He served as a Council Father in all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965.[6] On April 17, 1967 Systermans was part of a delegation meeting Pope Paul VI to present petitions advocating beatification of Father Damien.[7] He retired in 1970, and died on May 28, 1989.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Death of Fr. Henri Systermans". Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary web site. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Fr. Joseph Hendriks sscc (Hawaii)". Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary web site. March 11, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu - Necrology
  4. ^ Gavan Daws (1984). Holy man: Father Damien of Molokai. University of Hawaii Press. p. ix. ISBN 978-0-8248-0920-1. 
  5. ^ "Election of Father Henri Systermans, seventh Superior General". Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary web site. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Father Henry Systermans, SS.CC.". Catholic Hierarchy web site. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  7. ^ "The road to Canonization of Father Damien". AIFO web site. 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2010.