Wijngaards was born to Dutch Catholic parents in Indonesia in 1935. He movingly recounts being interred at a POW camp in Indonesia for four years, beginning at age 6. Then he entered a seminary aged 11, was ordained a priest at age 23, and was studying in Rome when Vatican II was getting under way in the early 1960s. It was then that he observed first-hand how some of the hard-line traditionalists in the Church’s hierarchy would go to great lengths to smother any and all attempts at reform.
He served as a Mill Hill Missionary in India as resident professor at St John’s College in Hyderabad for fourteen years, then for many years on lecture tours throughout India and Pakistan. After being elected Vicar General of the Mill Hill Missionaries in 1976, he helped build up missionary projects across five continents. In 1983, he founded a centre in London which evolved into the world-renowned Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research which coordinates leading academics to publish research projects on issues facing the international Catholic community.
Source: La Croix International and Wijngaardsinstitute.com