Father Jozef Hollanders member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in South Africa was killed in a robbery at the age of 83 on January 12th, 2020. Father Daniel Coryn, the provincial superior of the Oblate Missionaries of Mary told the press:
"We are deeply affected by what has happened. Jeff was found tied hand and foot and with a rope around his neck. A terrible death for someone who dedicated his whole life to his mission"
Born on March 4th, 1937 in Belgium, Father Hollanders professed his first vows as an Oblate on September 8th, 2958 and was ordained a priest just a few years later on December 26, 1963. He arrived on January 31, 1965 in South Africa and began a missionary journey in the country spanning 55 years. Father Daniel Coryn, speaking at the Father's funeral that was attended by over 3,000 people said:
“For 55 years was a dedicated and faithful missionary in the Tswana-speaking area, now North West Province of South Africa, He liked to create new Christian communities, which have become parishes or parish stations in what has become the diocese of Klerksdorp.”
Father Hollanders was killed during a robbery attempt and likely died from strangulation or a heart attack resulting from the strangulation. The Oblates in a press release talked about the life Father Hollanders lived - a simple and practical life, full of enthusiasm about the new missionary vision of the local Oblate province.
Lerato Maleshoane, a Klerkdorp parishoner said:
"He had fed the hungry, visited the sick, comforted the dying, uplifted the poor in their communities, and educated the children, a dedicated, saintly Catholic priest like him will not as much as get a footnote in the news bulletins because his story is about goodness, sacrifice, service and love,”
Father Hollanders is survived by his brother, two sisters and their children in Belgium; his Requiem Mass was held on January 22 at the Cathedral of Christ the Redeemer in Klerksdorp.