Jesuit Father Joseph H. Boel died on April 5, 2014, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Mich., from congestive heart and renal failure. He was 86 years old.
Fr. Boel was born on Aug. 4, 1927, in Schelle, Belgium. He entered the Society of Jesus on Sept. 7, 1946, in Tronchiennes, Belgium. He was ordained on March 19, 1959, in Poona, India, and took final vows on Aug. 15, 1962, in Delhi, India. As a Jesuit Fr. Boel 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).
Fr. Boel 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). Fr. Boel moved to the U.S. 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 Fr. Boel transcribed from the Ranchi Province to the Chicago Province.
At age 66, Fr. Boel 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, Ky. (2002-2004). He was an associate pastor at St. Xavier Church in Cincinnati (2004-2008). Fr. Boel moved to Colombiere Center in 2008 where he did pastoral ministry and cared for his brother Jesuits.