Fr. Joseph H. Boel, SJ
Always the missionary, he will be remembered for his zeal and kind manner, concern, and service for those in memory care with whom he ate and prayed
In Memoriam: Fr. Joseph H. Boel, SJ
Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of our brother, Fr. Joseph H. Boel, SJ (CDT), who died at 9:35 a.m. (EDT) on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan, from congestive heart and renal failure. He was 86 years old. May he rest in peace.
Joe was born on August 4, 1927, in Schelle, Belgium. He entered the Society of Jesus on September 7, 1946, in Tronchiennes, Belgium. He was ordained on March 19, 1959, in Poona, India, and took final vows on August 15, 1962, in Delhi, India. As a Jesuit, Joe earned a Bachelor's degree in history (1950) and a Licentiate degree in Philosophy (1953) from the Catholic University of Louvain. He earned a Master's degree in the social sciences from Delhi University (1963) and a Ph.D. in the social sciences from the Free University of Amsterdam (1975).
Joe was a research member at the India Social Institute in Delhi (1961-1969) and was the director of the Xavier Institute of Social Service in Ranchi (1965-1967). He was a member of "Loyola Hall" in Lahore (1971-1973) and was minister in Heverlee (1976-1977). Joe moved to the USA in 1977, where he did pastoral ministry at St. Bonaventure in Chicago (1977-1978). He then worked in university ministry and taught at Loyola University Chicago (1978-1989). He was a counselor for alumni and faculty at Loyola University Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine (1989-1993).
In 1988 Joe transcribed from the Ranchi Province to the Chicago Province.
At age 66, Joe accepted a mission to work in Africa where he did retreat ministry at the Mwangaza Jesuit Spirituality Center in Nairobi from 1993-2001 except for two years he was at Berkley House, the Chicago and Detroit Provinces' novitiate (minister 1996-1997 and superior 1997-1998). He returned to the states in 2001 where he did pastoral ministry while living at Woodlawn Jesuit Residence in Chicago (2001-2002) and then at the Kentucky Jesuit Mission in Lexington (2002-2004). He was an associate pastor at St. Xavier Church in Cincinnati (2004-2008). Joe moved to Colombiere Center in 2008 where he did pastoral ministry and cared for his brother Jesuits. Always the missionary, he will be remembered for his zeal and kind manner, concern, and service for those in memory care with whom he ate and prayed.
Anthony Barbato, MD, former president of Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine remembers Joe well. “Joe was an island of peace in the otherwise fast and furious world of the medical center. He was a quiet and soft spoken man. He impressed you as a person of substance who was disposed to listen more than talk and as a consequence people, especially students, sought him out. He wasn't at the medical center long but he made his mark and became part of the community. He was a terrific Jesuit.”
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