Father Joseph E. Van den Bogaard, MM

Born: November 26, 1910
Ordained: June 16, 1937
Died: October 4, 1997

Father Joseph Van den Bogaard died in the late morning of Saturday, October 4, 1997, at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center, Sleepy Hollow, New York. He was 86 years old and a Maryknoll priest for 60 years.

Joseph Bogaard was born on November 26, 1910, in Keansburg, New Jersey, son of Peter Van den Bogaard and Mary Mulder Bogaard. Joseph had five brothers and three sisters. When he was six years old the family moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he attended St. John the Evangelist and St. Michael’s grammar schools. On completion of grammar school and six months of high school, he entered Maryknoll Junior Seminary (the Venard) at Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, in September 1925. Joseph’s family uses Bogaard as their family name. When he entered Maryknoll, the Superior General, Father James A. Walsh, saw his father’s original name of ‘Peter Van den Bogaard,’ on some of his documents. Father Walsh liked it and told him, “You have to use the name Van den Bogaard.”

Father Van den Bogaard was ordained June 16,1937, and was assigned to the Maryknoll Mission in Kaying, China. After language studies, he was assigned as Professor of Latin at the Kaying Minor Seminary. In 1944 he was named rector of the mission in Wu Nai Hang district, where he was known to be a zealous missioner, well balanced with a good spirit and excellent ability.

While on Home Leave in 1947 and 1948, Father Van den Bogaard was assigned as a teacher of Latin and history at Maryknoll Junior Seminary in Lakewood, New Jersey.

He returned to South China in mid-1948 and was named Pastor at Lautsui which had about 1000 Catholics at the time. Twice a year he visited each of the 20 outstations of Lautsui. He was also Spiritual Director for the Chinese Sisters who had their Novitiate and Motherhouse there. On June 30, 1948, Father Van den Bogaard was appointed Second Consultor for the Kaying Diocese to Father Thomas J. Malone, the South China Regional Society Superior.

In December, 1950, word was received at Maryknoll, New York, that Father Van den Bogaard, along with Father Allan Dennis and two Maryknoll Sisters, had been incarcerated incommunicado in Laolu by the Chinese Communists. They were released and deported in March 1951. Office of General Council upon returning to the United States, Father Van den Bogaard was assigned to the Maryknoll Junior Seminary (Venard) in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, to assist with Special Latin students. In September, 1952, he was appointed Director of the Brothers at the Venard. In April, 1954, he was assigned as Novice Master at the Society Novitiate in Bedford, Massachusetts. Six years later, in September 1960, he was appointed Spiritual Director at the Major Seminary at Maryknoll, New York, where he was highly praised by his Superior for his work with the seminarians. In August 1963, after completing the prescribed courses in Ascetical and Mystical Theology at the Institute of Spiritual Theology in River Forest, Illinois, he was awarded a Certificate in Theology.

After his many years of Formation work in the United States, Father Van den Bogaard was assigned to the Maryknoll Mission Region in Taiwan in July, 1967, where he was assigned as Assistant Director of the Youth Center in Miaoli and teacher for the Chinese Sisters. On June 6, 1968 he was appointed Second Alternate Consultor to the Regional Superior of the Taiwan Region. In the following years he served in a variety of pastoral positions in Taiwan.

In May 1,1981 at age 70, Father Van den Bogaard was assigned at his own request to the Special Society with residence in Taiwan where he was able to carry on with pastoral work. He was the Special Society Unit Representative to the 1983 Inter-Chapter Society Assembly.

Father Van Den Bogaard returned to the United States in October 1989 with residence at Maryknoll Center, New York. On August 8,1995 he moved to St. Teresa’s Residence at Maryknoll, where he remained as a member of the Retirement Community until his death.

During his long missionary career – both overseas and in the United States – Father Van den Bogaard was known to be a serious, hard working and very effective missioner. His quiet presence was enjoyed by his fellow Maryknollers. In all of his assignments he was highly praised by his Superiors for his work and his dedication to the people to whom he ministered.

Wake services for Father Van den Bogaard were held on Wednesday evening, October 8, at St. Teresa’s Residence Chapel and Queen of Apostles Chapel at Maryknoll Center, New York, where Father Alphonse Kim presided. The concelebrated funeral Mass was held on Thursday, October 9, at Queen of Apostles Chapel. Father Gordon Fritz was Principal Celebrant and Father James Nieckarz was the homilist. Interment followed at Maryknoll Center Cemetery.