Rev John Willem Nicolaysen Gran

Rev John Willem Nicolaysen Gran

Birth
Death 20 Mar 2008 (aged 87)
Burial Bergen, Bergen kommune, Hordaland fylke, Norway
Plot Bishops' Plot.
Memorial ID 26081989 · View Source
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Former Bishop of the Diocese of Oslo, Norway, Monsignor John Willem Nicolaysen Gran OCSO., was born on April 5, 1920, in Bergen, Hordaland, Norway. After studying drama, he appeared in several operas and plays in theaters across England, Italy and Tyskland. An atheist, while in Italy he interested himself in Catholic beliefs and was christened in December 1941. He pursued his career in England and appeared also in the 1947 movie "Kampen om Tungtvannet". After undergoing studies in Latin Language, he joined the Cistercians of Strict Observance at Caldey's Abbey of Wales in November 1949. Ordained to the priesthood on May 21, 1957, at 37 years of age, he obtained a licentiate in theology after undergoing studies in Rome in 1959. Between 1960 and 1963, he served as economic administrator of the Cistercians General Curia in Rome.

After five years of priesthood, at the age of 42, on December 27, 1952, Dom Gran was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Oslo, Norway. He received his episcopal consecration at St. Olav's Cathedral on March 24, 1963, with the Titular See of Rafia from Bishop Jacques Mangers SM., assisted by Bishops Johannes Theodor Suhr OSB., and Johann Wember MSF.

Monsignor Gran succeeded to the See of Oslo on November 26, 1964, following the retirement of Msgr. Mangers and took possession of the diocese in the named Cathedral of St. Olav's on December 13. He formed part of the Secretariat for Christians and Inter-Religious Dialogue in Rome between 1963 and 1984. He was known among others for his great interest in his diocese, including among others the restoration of St. Olav's led by architect Thomas Thiis-Evensen.

Between the periods of 1964 and 1972, and 1985 and 1989, Bishop Gran served as General Secretary of the Norwegian Episcopal Conference. He resigned his See aged 63, on November 26, 1983, and was succeeded by Msgr. Gerhard Schwenzer SS.CC.

In 1984, he was named Commander of St. Olav's Order. The author of several books, notably "Den Katolske Kirke i Norge", "En hånd på min skulder", "Terskelen" and "Det annet Vatikankonsil - Oppbrudd og fornyelse", Msgr. Gran celebrated his fiftieth anniversary of his priesthood anniversary on August 24, 2007.

Bishop Gran died aged 88, on Thursday, March 20, 2008, in Paris, France. In his later years, he resided mostly on the island of Corsica. Buried in Bergen on April 3, 2008, he was the first Catholic Bishop to be buried there since 1522, with Bishop Andor Ketilsson being the last prelate to be laid to rest in that city.


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  • Created by: Eman Bonnici
  • Added: 17 Apr 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 26081989
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rev John Willem Nicolaysen Gran (5 Apr 1920–20 Mar 2008), Find A Grave Memorial no. 26081989, citing Møllendal Church Cemetery, Bergen, Bergen kommune, Hordaland fylke, Norway ; Maintained by Eman Bonnici (contributor 46572312) .