Two local men mark jubilees as Maryknoll missioners
Two local men are celebrating jubilees as Maryknoll missioners this year.
Frs. James Kroeger, MM, of Greenville, and Carlton Meulemans, MM, of Wrightstown, celebrated their anniversaries of ordination on Sunday, June 25.
Fr. Carl Meulemans, MM, is celebrating his 40th jubilee. He currently works in Chicago as director of promotions (mission education, recruitment and fundraising) for the Maryknoll Midwest region.
In the years since his June 11, 1960 ordination, Fr. Meulemans taught French, math and music at Maryknoll seminaries in Clarks Summit, Penn., Chesterfield, Mo. and Glen Ellyn, Ill. In 1971, he was assigned to the East African country of Tanzania, where he served for 11 years, holding such posts as regional coordinator (1976-81) and director of the language school in Musoma (1978-82).
"The greatest challenge for Tanzanians is survival, AIDS, healthcare and getting education for their youth," said Fr. Meulemans. "The church is established, but needs to be challenged to reach the poorest of the poor, and to be missionary in reaching out from Tanzania to other African nations."
Born on March 17, 1934 in Wrightstown, Fr. Meulemans graduated from St. Norbert High School in De Pere and attended St. Norbert College for one year before joining Maryknoll in 1952. He has also served in parishes in the Green Bay Diocese, most recently at St. Boniface, Manitowoc.
Fr. James Kroeger, MM, is celebrating his 25 years as a priest. He has served most of his mission career in the Philippines. Since 1997, he has taught and been engaged in formation work at Loyola School of Theology and Mother of Life Catechetical Institute in Manila. He also has served as a visiting professor at the Major Seminary in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
"I have been enriched by the joyful, carefree dimensions of Philippine culture and religiosity," said Fr. Kroeger, who was ordained to the priesthood on May 17, 1975. "This is a great balance to my German roots. After 30 years in the Philippines, I now treasure my 'hybrid' personality."
He is also the author of 10 books of missiology, including his most recent, Asia-Church in Mission (1999).
Born on Dec. 4, 1945 in Appleton, Fr. Kroeger graduated from Sacred Heart Seminary, Oneida, in 1966, and attended St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., before entering Maryknoll in 1968.