Father Joseph H. Schrubbe, MM

Born: August 17, 1911
Ordained: June 11, 1939
Died: July 18, 1943

Joseph H. Schrubbe was born in Decorah, Iowa on August 17, 1911. His family later moved to Roseland, Nebraska.

At St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, Kansas, Joseph completed high school and three years of college in preparation for the priesthood. becoming interested in the foreign missions and Maryknoll during this period, he was encouraged by his pastor, Father Lombardi who had been in China during the Boxer rebellion, and by Father Raymond Hohifeld, then a student at Maryknoll, with whom Joseph had corresponded. Inspired by the life of Father McShane, he entered Maryknoll in 1933.

Soon after ordination in the spring of 1939, Father Schrubbe departed for South China, taking up language studies at Stanley, Hong Kong. In June of 1940 he was assigned to his first mission at Jungyun as assistant to Father Mulcahy.

Father Schrubbe was stationed successively at Yunghui and Paklau, and was named pastor in Wuchow in 1943. At the same time he was placed in charge of the Wuchow Probatorium, an elementary school for the training of prospective seminarians. During his mission years he had likewise devoted himself to the care of the many refugees from North China who sought haven in Wuchow during the war.

In the midst of his ministrations to the spiritual and material needs of these war victims, Father Joseph fell ill. On July 16, Bishop Donaghy notified the Center, through Father Tennien in Chungking, that Father Schrubbe’s condition was very dangerous. Five days later a cable arrived announcing the death in the Wuchow hospital on July l8. Dr. Wallace, a member of the Protestant Mission there, made every effort to save him.

Funeral and burial took place in Wuchow and on July 22 a Solemn Mass of Requiem was offered for the repose of his soul at Maryknoll, N.Y.