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Rev. Joseph H. Voor

Deceased: 2022-11-06


ICTE Spring: 1994

Father Joseph H. Voor, Bellarmine’s first chair of Psychology and a priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville for 72 years, died on Nov. 6. He was 97.

Frequently mentioned by alumni as a professor who made a difference in their lives, Fr. Voor taught at Bellarmine from 1956 to 1975. He was the college’s first Psychology professor and then founding chair of the Psychology Department. During his time at Bellarmine, nearly 20 percent of the Psychology graduates went on to earn doctorates.

He also served at various times as director of the Guidance Office, director of Housing, prefect to the residence halls and director of the Upward Bound program, all while teaching a full load of classes.

He continued in residence at Bellarmine until 1982. He also taught at Nazareth College.

In 2016, he received the Msgr. Alfred F. Horrigan Distinguished Service Award from the Bellarmine University Alumni Association. He also received the Archdiocese Senate of Priests Award for Service and the national John XXIII Award for Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy.

A native of Louisville, Fr. Voor grew up in the St. Vincent de Paul parish and attended St. Xavier High School and St. Mary’s College. After attending St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Ind., he was ordained on June 3, 1950, by Archbishop John A. Floersh. He then earned a doctorate in psychology from Catholic University of America.

Fr. Voor served as pastor of St. William Church, Immaculate Conception Church in La Grange, Ky., and St. Matthew Mission Church in Bedford, Ky. He was associate pastor of St. Matthias and St. Philip Neri churches and the Cathedral of the Assumption. After retiring, he served as a senior associate at St. Brigid and St. James churches.

He was also a chaplain for the Kentucky State Reformatory, Luther Luckett Correctional Complex, Roederer Correctional Complex, Cedar Lake Lodge, Tri-County Baptist Hospital, St. Serra Club, Knights of St. John and Kindred Hospital. He was a spiritual advisor for the Secular Order of Carmel.

He served as a provincial representative to the National Federation of Priests’ Councils and was the founding president of the National Organization for the Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy. He was the National Catholic Guidance Council’s executive director.