Fr. Joseph Voor named Distinguished Alumnus
July 15, 2013
Fr. Joseph H. Voor will
receive Saint Meinrad's Distinguished Alumnus Award on July 30,
during the annual Alumni Reunion. He is a member of the 1950
ordination class of Saint Meinrad Seminary.
Fr. Voor, 87, has been a priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville
for 63 years. Over those six decades, he has built an exemplary
record of service.
"Fr. Voor's years of ministry and service as a priest, teacher,
pastor and national leader have been marked by his humility," said
one nominator. "One might say that in each of these venues of
ministry, his fingerprints remain on many projects and
accomplishments for which he never sought credit."
Fr. Voor developed strong family values at a young age. His
mother died of pneumonia shortly after giving birth to him in 1925,
and he and his father went to live with his relatives, Christine
Lampe and her six children.
After Mr. Lampe died when Fr. Voor was only 4, he went to live
with an uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard H. Voor Sr. and their
six children. Then in 1943, Fr. Voor's father was killed in an
accident. He relied on his extended family for encouragement and
"Fr. Joe is like the rock of our extended family," stated one of
Fr. Voor's family members in a nomination letter. "Always present,
ready, willing and able to be the spiritual light that we all
Fr. Voor grew up in St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Louisville and
was educated at St. Xavier High School for two years. He then
attended St. Mary's College and Saint Meinrad Seminary. He was
ordained to the priesthood in 1950 and his first assignment was the
Cathedral of the Assumption in Louisville.
Within a year, he was sent to The Catholic University of America
in Washington, D.C., where he earned a doctorate in psychology.
Fr. Voor was a faculty member at Bellarmine University in
Louisville from 1956-1975 and was the university's first professor
of psychology. While there, he served as director of the guidance
office, director of housing, director of the school's Upward Bound
program and as a chair in the psychology department, all while
teaching a full load of classes.
In 1972, Fr. Voor returned from a sabbatical at the University
of Michigan to help establish the parish council system for the
Archdiocese of Louisville, a structure that is still in place
At the same time he was launching the council system, Fr. Voor
was elected first president of the National Organization for
Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy. He was also serving
as Director of Continuing Education of Clergy of the Archdiocese of
Louisville from 1971-1982.
Fr. Voor also served as a member of the health panel for a
number of years in the Archdiocese of Louisville.
Fr. Voor served as president of the National Guidance Council in
1973. He has been a prison chaplain for more than 20 years and has
also been a chaplain for the Serra Club of Louisville and the
Knights of St. John. He has been involved with the Worldwide
Marriage Encounter Council since 1978 as both a team priest and in
He has received an honorary degree from the Knights of St. John
and the Pope John XXIII Medal from the National Organization for
Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy.
Since his retirement in 1995, Fr. Voor has served as the senior
associate at St. Brigid and St. James parishes in Louisville. He
remains active as a national committee member of the Worldwide
He continues to stay physically active, playing golf and tennis
at least once a week. He is the 22nd Saint Meinrad alumnus to
receive the award, which was established in 1990.