The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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June 8, 2001 Issue
Local News

Norbertines mark anniversaries

Five priests celebrate jubilees of ordination


Five members of the Norbertine community marked their jubilees in relgious life on the feast of St. Norbert, June 6. Abbot E. Thomas De Wane, O. Praem., presided at the celebration Mass in the St. Norbert Abbey Church and delivered the homily.

During this event, the following Norbertine priests celebrated their anniversaries:


Fr. Harvey H. Toonen, O. Praem.

Celebrating his 60th jubilee, Fr. Toonen was born in Green Bay on Nov. 25, 1916.

The son of the late Chris and Olive (Savageau) Toonen, he entered the Norbertine Order as a novice on Aug. 28, 1935. He professed Solemn Vows on Aug. 28, 1940, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 26, 1941.

Fr. Toonen graduated from St. Norbert College, with a BA in Philosophy in June 1938 and received an master's degree in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in August 1948. Fr. Toonen served on the faculties of Southeast Catholic High School, Philadelphia, Penn.; Archmere Academy, Claymont, Del.; Central Catholic-Premontre High Schools, Green Bay; and St. Norbert College, De Pere. He was also principal at Premontre High School for 9 years.

Fr. Toonen also served as assistant pastor at St. Cecelia Parish, Clearwater, Fla. and as associate pastor at St. Joseph Priory Parish, De Pere and St. Willebrord Parish, Green Bay. Fr. Toonen has also served as prior of St. Michael Priory, Green Bay and associate director of formation at Padres Norbertinos, Lima, Peru.

He began ministering to the Hispanic people of the Green Bay Diocese and surrounding areas in May 1986, to help build a sense of community among the more than 5,000 Hispanics living in this area. Besides presiding at Mass he also assisted the diocese in meeting educational and sacramental needs of the Hispanic community.

Currently, Fr. Toonen resides at St. Joseph Priory in De Pere where he is involved in Internal and External Ministry. He serves as part-time associate pastor at St. Willebrord Parish in Green Bay where he continues to minister to the Hispanic community.


Fr. Bernard M. Brunette, O. Praem.

Golden jubilarian Fr. Bernard Brunette is the son of the late Russell and Leslie (Houle) Brunette. He was born in Green, Bay on March 5, 1926 and entered the Norbertine Order on Aug. 28, 1944. He professed solemn vows on Aug. 28, 1949, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 1951.

In June of 1948, Fr. Brunette graduated from St. Norbert College, with a degree in philosophy. He received a master's in education from the University of Delaware, Newark in June 1957. Fr. Brunette was a faculty member of St. Norbert High School, De Pere; Archmere Academy, Claymont, Del.; and Abbot Pennings High School, De Pere.

He also served as associate pastor at St. Willebrord Parish, Green Bay and as pastor of St. Joseph Priory Parish, Madison, for 21 years. Currently, Fr. Brunette resides at St. Norbert Abbey where he is involved in Internal and External ministry.


Fr. Rowland C. De Peaux, O. Praem.

Fr. Rowland De Peaux, golden jubilarian, is son of the late Louis and Helen (Paral) De Peaux. He was born in Green Bay on July 4, 1926. On August 28, 1944, he was vested as a novice in the Norbertine Order. He professed solemn vows on Aug. 28, 1949, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 1951.

Fr. De Peaux graduated from St. Norbert College in June 1948, earning a BA in philosophy and received a master's in French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in August 1956. In June of 1970, he received a doctorate in French/Spanish from the UW-Madison.

Fr. De Peaux taught French and Spanish at St. Norbert College; St. Norbert High School, De Pere; Southeast Catholic/Bishop Neumann High School, Philadelphia, Pa.; and Premontre High School, Green Bay.

Fr. De Peaux resides at St. Joseph Priory in De Pere where he is involved in Internal and External Ministry. His current duties at St. Norbert College include advisor to a National Fraternity and chaplain to the College Alumni Association.


Fr. Gerald B. Kempen, O. Praem.

Celbrating his 50th anniversary in priesthood is Fr. Gerald Kempen, son of the late Bernard and Clara (Gevers) Kempen. He was born in De Pere on July 23, 1926 and entered the Norbertine Order on Aug. 18, 1944. He professed solemn vows on Aug. 28, 1949, and was ordained on May 19, 1951.

In June of 1948, Fr. Kempen graduated from St. Norbert College. He holds a master's in American History/European History and a master's in Education/Drama from Villanova University, Villanova, Pa.

Fr. Kempen taught at St. Norbert High School, De Pere; Southeast Catholic High School, Philadelphia, Pa.; and Abbot Pennings High School, De Pere, where he served as vice-principal for six years.

He also served as pastor at St. Louis Parish, Dykesville; St. Boniface Parish, De Pere; St. Margaret Parish, Cut Bank, Mt.; Holy Cross Parish, Bay Settlement; St. Joseph Priory Parish, Norman; and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Tisch Mills

Other positions held by Fr. Kempen include chaplain for the Knights of Columbus and vicar-Vicariate VII of the Diocese of Green Bay.

Fr. Kempen now resides at St. Norbert Abbey where he is involved in Internal and External Ministry.


Fr. John L. Bostwick, O. Praem.

Silver jubilarian Fr. Bostwick, son of the late John and Ann (Mihlan) Bostwick, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Aug. 14, 1946. He entered the Norbertine Order as a novice on Aug. 28, 1964, professed solemn vows on Aug. 28, 1974, and was ordained to the priesthood on Sept. 11, 1976.

In November 1968, Fr. Bostwick received a BA in Theology from St. Norbert College. In May of 1979, he received a master's in counseling from St. Mary's College, Winona, Minn. and a Th.M in Spirituality from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, Cal., in October 1990.

Fr. Bostwick's assignments have included teaching at Premontre High School, Green Bay; Abbot Pennings High School, De Pere; and St. Norbert College, De Pere. He served as a counselor at Premontre High School in De Pere and Notre Dame de la Baie Academy in Green Bay.

Other positions held by Fr. Bostwick include House Superior of St. Michael Priory, Green Bay and St. Joseph Priory, De Pere; Master of Novices and Juniors, St. Norbert Abbey, De Pere. Currently, Fr. Bostwick is the director of the Norbertine Center for Spirituality at St. Norbert Abbey and an adjunct faculty member at St. Norbert College. He resides at St. Joseph Priory, De Pere.



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