Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church


Fr. Joseph Voor named Distinguished Alumnus

July 15, 2013

Pic _news _Fr Joseph VoorFr. 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 support.
"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 need."

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 today.

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 local leadership.

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 Marriage Encounter.

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.