Saturday, June 3, 2017


We start the month of June with some American missionaries who have been declared Servants of God. They all set an example for us, and the world, as they gave their lives in service of others.

SERVANT of GOD FATHER JOSEPH CAPPEL died on May 31, 2004 in Curepto, Chile. He was 95 years old and a Maryknoll priest for 68 years.

Joseph Henry Cappel was born in Covington, Kentucky on November 16, 1908, son of Joseph and Eleanora Farfsing Cappel, he has six brothers, one of whom wa also a Maryknoll priest, Father Charles Cappel.

He attended St. Matthew’s grade school in Norwood and graduated from St. Mary’s high school in Cincinnati in 1927. He attended the University of Dayton in Ohio for two years before beginning studies to be a Cincinnati diocesan priest at St. Gregory’s Seminary. He entered Maryknoll in 1931 and was ordained in 1935.

After ordination Father Cappel was assigned to Masan and then to Chinnampo Mission, Peng Yang, North Korea, and in 1937 transferred to the Chu Ko Chin Mission, in a mountainous area near the Yalu River. In 1941, he was interned by the Japanese and returned to the United States. The following year, he was assigned to Chillan, Chile, and appointed Group Superior for the Region. In 1944, he was appointed second assistant to the Society Superior, and pastor of Parroquia San Vincente in Chile.

In 1947, he served for a year in the United States as assistant spiritual director at Maryknoll Seminary in Ossining, New York, returning to Chile in 1948, as assistant pastor of the Catholic parish in Temuco.

In 1949, he was made pastor of Parroquia De Nuestra Senora Del Rosario in Curepto, an extensive parish with a grade school, an asylum and five mission chapels. Father Joseph was beloved by the people,  traveling by bicycle to serve all their needs.

Thirteen more chapels have developed since he first went there. Father Cappel continued to serve in that parish until his death in 2004.

The funeral  Mass was held in the Plaza due to the great number (3,500) of people in attendance. The Bishop of Talca presided and forty priests concelebrated.

"It is an absolute necessity to keep constant close contact with the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ as a sure way to discern the opportunities that can build the kingdom of God," Father Cappel said at his Golden Jubilee.

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