Born in 1943 in The Hague, Netherlands, Jan entered the Society of Jesus in 1961. He studied philosophy and written and unwritten law in the Netherlands. He went on to study languages of Indonesia and theology in Java and worked in Indonesia before returning to Europe. He was Novice Master and, until 2006, Provincial of the Netherlands. His favourite sports have all to do with water. Jan discovered the spirituality of the Jesuits by reading Karl Rahner, from some wise spiritual Dutch and Flemish Jesuits in the Low Lands and, in Indonesia, in his work in Ambon, Yogyakarta, Brussels, Lyon, Bruges and Utrecht. His family is a great support for his vocation. He participated for the Dutch Province in the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus in Rome.