EAST AURORA, N.Y. — Joel A. Campbell, 82 years of age, a professed Franciscan for 62 years and a priest for 57 years, died suddenly on Feb. 1 at Christ the King Seminary Friary.
Joel was born on July 21, 1924, in Media, Pa., to Joseph and Teresa (Small) Campbell. He was baptized Joseph on Aug. 3, 1924, at the Church of the Nativity, B.V.M. in Media. He attended the parish elementary school; afterward, he enrolled in St. Joseph Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., for his high school and junior college education.
Joel was received into the novitiate on Aug.12, 1943, in Paterson, N.J., and professed his first vows there on Aug. 13, 1944. He then completed his undergraduate education at the Order’s houses of philosophy, St. Stephen Friary in Croghan, N.Y., and at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J. He studied theology at Holy Name College, Washington, D.C., where he professed his final vows on September 17, 1947. He was ordained to the priesthood on Jan. 2, 1950 by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Amleto Cicognani, the Apostolic Delegate, at Mount St. Sepulchre, the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, D.C. During these years, Joel also obtained an master’s in sociology from St. Bonaventure University.
Following his ordination, Joel was among 30 Franciscans to staff the newly-established Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo, N.Y. During his 17 years at Timon, Joel held a number of positions including teacher, spiritual director, director of guidance, assistant principal and finally school principal from 1964 to 1967.
In 1967, Joel was assigned to St. Bonaventure University, first as assistant to Reginald Redlon, president of the university. In 1975, he began working as a recruiter and counselor for the university admissions office, where he served more than 20 years. In 1997, Joel returned to Buffalo, serving at the renamed Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School.
He accepted the position as senior guidance counselor, was later named school president, and a member of the Board of Trustees. As the only full-time Franciscan at Timon, Joel had numerous responsibilities, including serving as the school chaplain, counselor and moderator of alumni, and playing a role in the school’s fund-raising and advancement duties.
The reception of the body and visitation was on Feb. 6, followed by a Memorial Mass at the Church of the Holy Family in Buffalo. Gabriel Scarfia, guardian of Christ the King Friary, East Aurora, was the principal celebrant, and Monsignor William J. Gallagher preached the homily.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated the following day in the St. Bonaventure University chapel. Provoncial Vicar Dominic Monti, was principal celebrant and F. Edward Coughlin, v ice president for Franciscan Mission, preached the homily. Interment followed at St. Bonaventure Cemetery.
In place of flowers, donations may be sent to The Fr. Joel A. Campbell Scholarship Fund at Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School, 601 McKinley Parkway, Buffalo NY 14220.
Joel is survived by his sisters, Sr. Joella Francis, OSF, Sr. Marie Francine, OSF, and Mrs. Catherine Kane, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Catherine Kane, 550 Edgewood Avenue, Folsom PA 19033.