Father Joe Van Leeuwen, C.P., 81, passed away on February 28, at his home, the Passionist community in Kochi, India.
Norman Eugene Van Leeuwen was born on January 28, 1936 to Anthony "Tony" and Eugenia Van Leeuwen, St. Paul. On July 9, 1957 he professed to the Passionist Order. On May 23, 1964 he was ordained as Father Joseph Van Leeuwen in honor of the beloved Father Joseph Garland, a long-time pastor at St. Francis Parish.
Father Joseph served various states-side parish ministries during his career. In 1991 he offered to be among some Passionists, on a six month visa to work at a recently formed Passionist Mission in Southern India. In 1996 he was asked to return to India for about five years. He initially thought two years would be enough, but his missionary service to India became his life's work.
Funeral, Burial Services and Community Reception.
Father Joe's funeral will be at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 1st at St. Francis Catholic Church, St. Paul, Kansas. Burial will be in the Passionist Cemetery in the church gardens. Father's funeral services will be honored by a large number of visiting Passionist priests and a Knights of Columbus honor guard. All St. Francis and St. Ambrose parishioners are encouraged to attend both the funeral services and the community reception-luncheon at the St. Francis Parish Hall. The reception will begin immediately after the services.
Some More Information:
This is the community website for the St. Francis de Hieronymo and St. Ambrose Catholic Churches in Neosho County, Kansas. Both churches are located in the center of the historic nine-county southeast Kansas area. We share one of the richest Catholic Heritages in Southern Kansas and the Four-State Region. For more information about our churches, history, organizations or programs browse our site including its links.