January 19, 2012
Death notice to the Diocese
Milwaukee, April 19, 2012
Fr. Jonathan James Niehaus, member of the Secular Institute of Schoenstatt Fathers, died of lung cancer in Koblenz, Germany, on January 19, 2012. Fr. Jonathan was born June 5, 1960, the oldest of six children of Veronica and Melvin Niehaus. He graduated from Ivanhoe High School in 1978 and from Southwest State University in 1982. He is survived by his Mother Veronica and sister Sr. M. Deanne Niehaus (Sleepy Eye, MN), sister Rebecca Hall and family (Mendota Heights, MN), brothers David (Portland, OR), Fr. Mark (Waukesha, WI) and Fr. Thomas (Easton, MN).
He joined the community of Schoenstatt Fathers and lived at their house of studies in Muenster, Germany, while attending classes at the Wilhelm University of Muenster. After finishing his studies there, he served one year as deacon at St. Mary’s parish Elm Grove, Wisc. Bishop Raymond Lucker ordained him to the priesthood on June 4, 1994 in Sleepy Eye, MN. After this he spent two years at St. James and St. Cecilia parish in Mequon, Wisc.
From 1996 on Fr. Jonathan devoted his time and energy to the formation of our Schoenstatt Youth. And in order to give a greater access to the Schoenstatt spirituality, he wrote many books and offered his publications in English for a wide circle of readers.
Joining the newly erected house community of the Schoenstatt Fathers in Austin, TX, in 2005 he commuted between Austin and San Marcus where he served as University chaplain for the students at Texas State.
Then, in 2009, the community called him to join the team of educators of our community in Schoenstatt, Germany, from where he travelled to India, Africa and South America. During one of his visits to Burundi last July he noticed severe back pain. By the end of September 2011 he had to be hospitalized in Wuerzburg, Germany, where they discovered lung cancer which had already metastasized to other parts of the body. From complications of this cancer Fr. Jonathan died this morning, January19, 2012, in Koblenz, Germany.