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Missionhurst Fr. Dewaele, 96, dies

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Missionhurst Fr. Joseph Jules Dewaele died at age 96 March 9.

He was born March 19,1924, on a dairy farm in Waregem, near Flanders Field Cemetery in Belgium. He joined the Scheut Missionary Congregation in 1943 in Scheut-Brussels and was ordained to the priesthood July 31,1949.

Before leaving for the missions, he obtained a licentiate degree in general pedagogy and professional psychology at the Catholic University of Louvain. In the 1950s, he left for the newly created Vicariate of Kabinda, Kasai, Belgian Congo and was involved in school administration. He returned to Belgium after the Congo became independent in the early 1960s.

In 1967, he was assigned to teach at Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, Pa. He left this ministry in 1979 to become pastor of Mary Star of the Sea in Oxnard, Calif. When the parish was returned to the administration of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, he was assigned to parish ministry in the Hartford Archdiocese, Conn., after a stint at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind.

He remained in this ministry until he retired at age 82 and moved to the Missionhurst Dominion Community in Arlington.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021