Columban Fathers Announce New Mission Education Director


Jeff Norton
Director of Operations/U.S. Region

BELLEVUE, Neb.—Sr. Jeanne Janssen, a sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, has been named as U.S. mission education director by St. Columban’s Foreign Mission Society.

The Catholic missionary society, known as the Columban Fathers, announced the hiring December 2. Sr. Janssen will replace Sylvia Thompson, who is retiring after 12 years as mission education director.

Sr. Janssen will coordinate the development of mission-centered programs and curriculum for use by schools, parishes and other groups. She will also coordinate advertising and promotion of Columban Mission Awareness resources and promote mission awareness through workshops and in-service opportunities for teachers. Most recently, the Columbans have developed cooperative relationship with mission-oriented groups.

Most recently before joining the Columban Fathers, Sr. Janssen taught high school and college classes in Japan. She returned to the United States in June.

“Missionary work is my first love,” said Sr. Janssen, originally from Green Bay, Wisc. “I am delighted to be working in mission education for the Columban Fathers and feel it is the perfect way to put my enriching, fulfilling years of mission experience at the service of the American Church.”

Sr. Janssen entered her congregation’s St. Louis Province in 1965 and pronounced first vows in 1968. She received her bachelor of arts degree from Fontbonne College in St. Louis in 1970 and taught English in Atlanta for two years.

Responding to her congregation’s call for missionaries to Japan, Sr. Janssen first went to Tokyo in 1972 and pronounced her final vows there in 1973. After language study, she was assigned to her congregation’s junior-senior high school in Tsu, Japan. In 1980, she received a graduate degree in English literature and began teaching at the Jesuit Sophia University and the University of the Sacred Heart.

Beginning in 1987, Sr. Janssen lived and work with a local community of Religious of the Good Shepherd in Manila, the Philippines, where she was involved in basic Christian community development, community organizing, livelihood program development and informal education. Sr. Janssen returned to the United States in 1994 to work at Maryknoll’s Cross-Cultural Training Services. A year later, she went to China to teach at a government university through a program sponsored by the Columban Fathers and the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ China Bureau.

St. Columban’s Foreign Mission Society is a Catholic missionary society founded in 1918 by Fr. Edward Galvin. The U.S. Region headquarters is located in Bellevue, Neb.

Today, nearly 700 Columban missionaries, including priests, Sisters, lay missionaries and seminarians, proclaim God’s works and strive for social justice in Japan, Korea, Peru, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Pakistan, Chile, Fiji and North America.

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