Father John J. Lange, one of seven children, two brothers and four sisters, was born to John and Cecelia Roediger Lange in Dubuque, Iowa, on January 18, 1931. He attended Nativity Parish grammar school and Loras High School, both in Dubuque and entered Maryknoll on November 13, 1949.
Father Lange was ordained on June 14, 1958 and assigned to the Maryknoll Development House in Minneapolis, Minnesota until April 1962, at which time he traveled by boat to the Tanzania, East Africa Region. Because of his mission experience Father John was reassigned to Development work in July 1968. He was appointed Regional Director and Superior of the Minneapolis House in 1969 and continued in this position, until he was reassigned to Africa on August 1, 1973.
After spending time in Maryknoll’s Dar es Salaam Society House in Tanzania, he served seven years in ministry at the Maryknoll House in Nairobi, Kenya. While in Nairobi, he served as the chaplain to the Little Sisters of St. Francis in Nairobi while continuing his ministry in the Mukuru slums of Nairobi.
After eight years serving as chaplain for the Little Sisters of St. Francis, Lange moved across Nairobi town to be chaplain for the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi. He continued his ministry for the sick and poor in the Mukuru slums. In 2013 he moved back to Tanzania to the Parish of Mwanhuzi in the Diocese of Shinyanga where he began his missionary work 52 years before. He served as assistant priest to Father Dominic Ngata and later Father Robert Walwa. He kept himself very busy with mass in the many outstations in the parish and his daily visits to the sick in the government hospital. He became well acquainted with doctors and nurses. Over time he donated an oxygen machine and a operating microscope for eye surgery. He invited four Little Sisters of St Francis to Mwanhuzi Parish and built them a convent. They will eventually run the new secondary school. He began building this secondary school in January, 2018. Sr Dolorosa is in charge of the construction because Lange had decided to move to the neighboring Parish of Ndoleleji to join Maryknoll Father Hung Dinh. Construction on the school goes on well. The contactor promises to finish by the end of 2018 so that the school will be able to open in January, 2019. Fr. Lange prays for funds to complete the construction.