48 years of serving island faithful


POSTED: Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Rev. Albert Jaak Miechielsen, 90, who served as a Catholic priest in Hawaii for the past 48 years, started his career as a missionary in Zaire, Africa.

Born in Belgium, he joined his countrymen in missions to the Congo where he served for 14 years. When political unrest grew as people sought liberation from Belgian rule, he was kidnapped by secessionists and held for 40 days until rescued by United Nations forces.

“;After that the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary decided to bring Father to another foreign mission in Hawaii,”; said the Rev. Chris Keahi, leader of the Hawaii province of the religious order. Miechielsen was one more than 300 Belgian priests to serve in Hawaii and a member of the same religious order as Father Damien De Veuster.

Miechielsen died Jan. 15 at the St. Patrick Monastery in Kaimuki.

After serving as assistant pastor and pastor in parishes on Oahu, Maui and Kauai, he retired from parish work in 1990.

He was born in Merksplas, Belgium.

He is survived by nieces and nephews in Belgium.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Tuesday at St. Patrick Church, 1124 7th Ave. Friends may call after 5:30 p.m. Burial will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Valley of the Temples. In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the Sacred Hearts Retirement Fund, P.O. Box 1365, Kaneohe, HI 96744.