Father Joseph Walijewski Father, Priest, Servant of God
Born March 15, 1924 He was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His family was poor and he began working at the age of 5.
. As a boy, he saw the movie Boys Town, based on an orphanage founded by Father Flanagan. Since then, he had the dream of founding an orphanage as well. Father Edward Flanagan Boys Town
Father Joe entered into the Franciscan Seminary but was not accepted to be ordained due to academic difficulties. Franciscan Seminary
Joseph Walijewski started to write letters to bishops from various diocese asking to be accepted as a seminarian. He made a promise: “God, if you help me to become a priest, I will dedicate five years serving the needing in Latin America.” In Search of a Home
The bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse accepted Father Joe and he entered as a seminarian in the Diocese. Diocese of La Crosse
First Years of Priesthood1950-1956 – United States Father Joe started his work as an assistant priest in Thorp. .
His Dream to be a Missionary Father Joe spoke to the bishop about his desire to be a missionary. At first, he had to wait a year. When he came back to the bishop with that same desire, the bishop gave him permission to go to Latin America.
1956 – Santa Cruz, Bolivia Father Joe went to Bolivia and started his work in the city of Santa Cruz of the Sierra.
Santa CruzParish Father Joe built a church and a school. He served in Santa Cruz for 8 years, from 1956 to 1964.
Father Joe left Bolivia in 1964 and went to Ecuador where he worked with the Saint James the Apostle Society. 1964-1966 Ecuador
1966-1971 United States Father Joe returned to the Diocese where he was parish priest in Throp, Wisconsin.
1971 – Villa el Salvador, Peru Father Joe was invited to Lima, Peru after an earthquake in Huaraz to establish the first parish in the city of Villa el Salvador. The bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse gave him permission.
Villa el Salvador Many, many people arrived to look for a place to live. Father Joe helped them in Villa el Salvador where they started to build a city amidst the hills of sand.
Father Joe helped all of the people in Villa el Salvador. He was parish priest, builder, paramedic and teacher to all.
Christ the Savior Parish Father Joe was the parish priest of Christ the Savior in Villa el Salvador since its foundation in 1971 until 1985.
Father Joe spoke with Pope John Paul II during his visit to Peru in 1985 and the Pope gave him $50,000 to use to build the orphanage Casa Hogar. Pope John Paul II
Building Casa Hogar The construction of Casa Hogar started in 1985 in Lurin, Peru.
Casa HogarJuan Pablo II Casa Hogar opened its doors on March 22, 1986. It started with very few children but within the first year it came to be home to 32 children.
Cardinal Ratzinger – Pope Benedict XVI Cardinal Ratzinger came to Peru in 1986 and met Father Joe in Villa el Salvador.
In 1997 the bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse, Monsignor Burke, visited Casa Hogar and officially adopted Casa Hogar as a mission of the Diocese. Bishop Burke – United States
Bishop Jerome Listecki In 2005 Bishop Jerome Listecki of La Crosse came to visit Casa Hogar.
Through the years, many groups of young people have come to Casa to be able to know the mission and connect with the children. With that, Father Joe completed his desire to establish this connection between youthof Peru and of the U.S. Mutual Help
In 1991, Father founded an orphanage in Chontabamba for the older young children of the orphanage in Lurin. Casa Hogar – Oxapampa, Peru
New Director of Casa Hogar In 2000, Father Joe retired from Casa Hogar and left it in the hands of Father Sebastian.
In 2000, the program based in Boys Town, Nebraska was implemented at Casa, making 8 families, each under the care of a couple. Boys Town Program
In 2001, Father Joe moved to Oxapampa where he worked with young people and helped at the chapel in Chontabamba and the surrounding communities. Chontabamba, Peru
Nursing Home Closed in 2003, the orphanage in Chontabamba was converted into a home for the elderly under the care of the Sisters of Josephine of Charity.
On Holy Thursday of Holy Week in 2006, Father Joe returned to Lima to visit. He celebrated Palm Sunday Mass at Casa Hogar. His Last Mass
Faith in the Storms of Life Father Joe got sick that same Sunday during the night and was taken to the hospital.
Father Joe was always a man with great faith. His last words were “Don’t worry, everything is going to turn out well”. Father Joe’s Last Words
The Death of Father Joe Walijewski- April 11, 2006 Father Joe passed away peacefully Monday during the night.
Funeral For Father Joe At his funeral, 5 bishops, many priests and many members of religious communities attended along with more than 1,000 people.
Father Joe was buried in the Grotto at Casa Hogar and remains there, watching over Casa from heaven. Burial of Father Joe
Cause for Beatification and Canonization On March 19, 2013, Bishop Callahan of the Diocese of La Crosse announced the inauguration of the Beatification Cause of Father Joe.
Servant of God Since the opening of his cause for beatification, Father Joe holds the name of Servant of God, which recognizes his life of service and complete delivery to God.
Servant of God • One becomes Servant of God when the cause for beatification is opened • Venerable (Five year goal) • Diocesan Tribunal- Interviews • Historical Commission- His life • Theological Commission- His writings • Approval by the Congress of Causes of Saints • Blessed • Investigation of a miracle attributed to the Servant of God • Saint • Investigation of second miracle Beatification Process
Prayer for the Beatification of Father Joe Holy and Good God, your servant and priest, Father Joseph Walijewski, through priestly zeal and heroic holiness, defended innocence against the sadness of evil, especially to broken families and helpless children. Imaging the Compassionate Christ, he led others to the font of sacramental life and the knowledge of Jesus Christ as their True and Only Savior…
Prayer for the Beatification of Father Joe Heavenly Father, we hubly pray You to raise up Your servant, Father Joseph Walijewski, whose joyful, priestly heart was resolute in the Heart of Christ Jesus, to the courts of heaven; and, through Your Holy Spirit, give him to us as a saint and hero of this generation…
Prayer for the Beatification of Father Joe Through his example, may there be a new urgency of souls for Christ. Through his intercession, I humbly ask (make your intention here) through Christ our Lord. Amen.