Biographies

Father Joseph Farnen, MM

Born: February 26, 1897
Ordained: May 31, 1925
Died: November 26, 1961

Joseph L. Farnen was born February 26, l897 in Baltimore, Maryland. After attending St. Patrick’s parochial school he went to Calvert Hall where he completed high school in 1913. For the next three years he worked as a shipping clerk for a fertilizer company and then as a foreman of a lumber camp. He applied for Maryknoll in 1916 and was accepted for the Venard. During the scholastic year of 1924-25 he was assigned to Catholic University where he studied History.

He was ordained on May 31, 1925 and assigned to Kongmoon. During his first two years he labored at the old mission of Yeungkong and on Sancian Island where Francis Xavier had died. In 1927 he was named pastor at Lung Woh and it was here that he spent most of his missionary career. In 1932, because of a continued illness, he was given an anticipated decennial to return to the States for treatment. While waiting for a complete recovery he taught at the Venard for three years, 1934-37. His health improved and in 1937 he was able to return to his parish at Lung Woh, Kongmoon.

After his furlough in 1946 he was again assigned to the Venard to teach Mathematics and History and to be Director of the Brothers. Due to his long-term health problems he was appointed assistant at the Houston Promotion house in July of 1950. Five years later he was assigned to Mexico and worked on the Island of Cozumel and in Merida. In 1957 his condition worsened. He remained in Houston, after his return, until May, 1960 when he was transferred to Mountain View.

On November 26, 1961, while on a visit to a priest friend in Fresno, California, he fell ill and died. Fr. Thomas Gilleran, N.M., who was with him at the time, administered the Last Rites.

The funeral and burial were at Mountain View on November 30th.