Obituary: Father Arthur Vogel

Father Arthur Anton Vogel, 96, died May 12, at Quiet Oaks Hospice House in St. Augusta. A private funeral service was held May 19, with Bishop Donald Kettler presiding. Burial was in Assumption Cemetery in St. Cloud.

Father Vogel was born Nov. 7, 1923, in Wiesbaden, Germany. He was the son of Arthur and Elisabeth Schuld Vogel. He attended grade school and high school in Wiesbaden, and undergraduate studies in Bad Driburg, Germany, and St. John’s University, Collegeville. He received his seminary training at St. John’s Seminary.

Father Vogel served in the German Army during World War II and was captured in 1943 by the British Army. He was transferred to the U.S. Army and was held in prisoner of war camps, first in Aliceville, Alabama, and then Camp Kilmer in New Jersey. 

At camp Kilmer, he met a key player in his vocation journey, Sgt. Frank  Smith, the officer in charge of the prisoners of war. Smith helped Father Vogel and a friend set up a chapel at the camp. Father Vogel was working as the prisoner representative in the camp’s headquarters then, and spent much of his time arranging church services.

In the summer of 1946, he was sent to France and was then released in Germany in August. He attended Clemensheim Seminary near his home for a year after that, but left for financial reasons.

While returning home from the seminary by train, Father Vogel ran into Smith, who had been transferred to Germany. After their encounter, Smith contacted a friend in Lynbrook, New York, who invited Father Vogel to come and attend seminary in the United States. That friend knew a priest from the Diocese of St. Cloud and arranged for Father Vogel to attend St. John’s University and Seminary starting in 1950.

Father Vogel was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Peter Bartholome, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Cloud, June 1, 1957. He celebrated his first Mass at St. Raymond Church, Lynbrook, New York, on June 9, 1957.

Father Vogel served in the following pastoral assignments in the Diocese of St. Cloud: associate pastor, St. Mary of Mount Caramel, Long Prairie; pastor, St. Columbkille, St. Wendel; St. Francis de Sales, Belgrade; and St. Stephen, St. Stephen. He retired July 6, 1994.

Father Vogel also served on the Ecumencial Commission and on the Diocesan Building Commission from 1976 through 1994.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers, Willy and Helmuth Vogel.



Author: Dianne Towalski

Dianne Towalski is a multimedia reporter for The Central Minnesota Catholic Magazine.

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