Fr. Boniface Hardin, OSB, dies March 24
March 27, 2012
Fr. Boniface Hardin, OSB, monk and
priest of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN, died on March
24, 2012, at an Indianapolis nursing home. He was 78.
He was born in Bardstown, KY, on November 18, 1933. He came
to Saint Meinrad in 1947 as a high school student. He was invested
as a novice in 1953, professed his simple vows on July 31, 1954,
and his solemn vows in 1957. A jubilarian of both monastic
profession and priesthood, Fr. Boniface was ordained to the
priesthood on May 11, 1959.
After his ordination, Fr. Boniface served as assistant
treasurer of the Archabbey for six years. In 1965, he was appointed
assistant pastor at Holy Angels Parish in
In his first years in the parish, located in an
African-American neighborhood, social tensions ran high and the
threat of violence was imminent. Fr. Boniface became a speaker for,
and leader of, the black community in the search for justice and
In 1969, he founded the Martin Center, an Institute of
Afro-American Studies, named in honor of St. Martin de Porres and
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Center aimed to combat oppression,
particularly as minority individuals and groups encountered it
through racial prejudice. The Center's mission also included
assistance to those affected by sickle cell disease and associated
disorders through its supportive services, education and
In 1977, he and Sister Jane Schilling founded Martin
University, also in Indianapolis, with the mission of serving
low-income, minority and adult learners. He retired as the
university's president in 2007.
For a number of years, Fr. Boniface was instrumental in
introducing many seminarians from dioceses throughout the United
States to the ethos and needs of the black community through a
program in which participating students would reside and work with
the black community in Indianapolis for several weeks.
Fr. Boniface was the recipient of many awards and honorary
doctorates, among them the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1997 from
Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology.
Martin University in Indianapolis is having a viewing on
Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. At 7 p.m. they will have a
community service. (These are Indianapolis times.)
On Thursday, there will be a Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul
Cathedral at 10 a.m. (Indianapolis time), with Apostolic
Administrator Christopher Coyne presiding.
The Office of the Dead will be prayed on Thursday, March 29,
at 7 p.m. in the Archabbey Church, followed by visitation until 9
p.m. Visitation on Friday will be from 8 to 9:45 a.m. in the
Archabbey Church, followed by the funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Burial
will follow in the Archabbey Cemetery. All times
are Central Time.