Initially from Logansport, Indiana, Joe met the friars at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, where they serve two parishes, St. Benedict and St. Joseph University Parish, which serves the students of I.S.U. and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Joe graduated from ISU in 1984 and worked for 15 months as an Industrial Engineer at the Square D Company in Huntington, IN, before entering the initial formation program, then located in St. Louis, Missouri.
After two years of candidacy and studying undergraduate philosophy and theology, Joe progressed to the year of Novitiate in Staten Island, New York.
After making simple vows in 1988, Friar Joe studied at the Washington Theological Union in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree (M. Div.) in May 1992. On July 27, 1991, he made his solemn vows and was ordained a transitional deacon in January of 1992. As part of the M. Div. requirements, Friar Joe chose to do his supervised ministry experiences in two prisons; first spending a summer C.P.E. program at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women in Pewee Valley, Kentucky, and then spending one day a week for an academic year at the Lorton Reformatory in Lorton, Virginia. Friar Joe completed his internship for the M. Div. degree at a summer program at Under 21, Covenant House in Manhattan, NY, working with older teenage runaways.
After Ordination to the priesthood on October 23, 1992, Fr. Joe served at three parishes as a Pastoral Associate. They were: St. Cecelia in Ames, IA; St. Bonaventure in Bloomington, MN; and St. Joseph in Terre Haute, IN. At both Saints Cecelia and Bonaventure, he remained Associate Pastor as the parish transitioned from one pastor to another. An excellent experience for his future as a pastor as he twice got to see how two different priests provided leadership to the same parish.
In September of 2001, Fr. Joe was appointed Pastor and Guardian at St. Anthony of Padua in Lorain, OH, where he served for almost nine years. The parish had a school that provided numerous challenges. Fr. Joe is most proud of having kept the school open through difficult financial times and rallying the parish to make some much-needed repairs to the various facilities. The Conventual Franciscans chose to leave their service to the parish, and Fr. Joe finished his ministry at the parish on June 30, 2010.
In July of 2010, Fr. Joe was appointed pastor of another St. Anthony of Padua parish, this time in Clarksville, IN. Here he encountered a slightly bigger parish and much larger school. The finances were in better condition here, and Fr. Joe focused many of his energies on education and catechesis for all ages. He has now served this community for over ten years and is probably best known for his steady and straightforward community guidance and more in-depth knowledge and living of the faith. Fr. Joe has suggested that all parishioners make the parish mission statement their mission: “To Learn, Live and Proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”