April 29, 1918 – February 7, 2019
Father Vincent Joseph De Leers, O. Praem., age 100, a member of the Norbertine Community of St. Norbert Abbey, De Pere, WI, and a Norbertine priest, passed into God’s eternal kingdom on 7 February 2019.
Father De Leers was born on 29 April 1918, in Menominee, MI to Alphonse and Alice (Vincent) De Leers. His home parish was Our Lady of Lourdes, Marinette, WI.
In 1939, Father De Leers received a B.A. degree in Chemistry from St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI, and a Master’s degree in Biochemistry from University of Wisconsin, Madison and in Higher Education from University of Illinois, Champaign in 1949.
He served in the Unites States Army from 1940 – 1942.
Upon entering St. Norbert Abbey, he was vested as a novice on 28 August 1942. He professed Simple Vows on 27 September 1943, Solemn Vows on 7 June 1946 and was ordained to the Priesthood on 15 June 1946.
In 1943, Father De Leers was a faculty member at St. Norbert High School College, De Pere, WI and St. Norbert College and continued his ministry there for many years. He spent 3 years at St. John Neumann High School, Philadelphia PA as Instructor in Physical Science. Fr. De Leers was Dean at St. Norbert College from 1957 – 1967 and served as part of the Executive Committee for the Wisconsin Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Wisconsin Association of Presidents and Deans of Institutions of Higher Learning and in the College and University Department, National Catholic Educational Association.
He was released from vows and priestly obligations in 1968. At that time, he married and has 2 daughters from that union. He was actively involved in many capacities in areas of higher education at City College of Chicago and University of Illinois, Champaign and at Edmonds Community College, Lynnwood, WA. He was reinstated to priestly ministry in 1989.
Father De Leers resided at Santa Maria de la Vid Priory, Albuquerque, NM in 1989, serving in External and Internal Ministry until his return to St. Norbert Abbey where he remained in Internal Ministry. He was the 1st American Norbertine to celebrate 100 years of age.
Father De Leers is survived by the Norbertine Community; daughters, Abigail (Thad) De Leers, Jessica (Jason Andrew) Lenderman and grandsons, Giuseppe De Leers-Certo and Jason Erik Lenderman.
He was preceded in death by his parents, stepmother, Gertrude Laird, one brother, Lawrence, sisters, Lucille Scoggins, Virginia Jaques, Mary Komp and Lois McCanna.
Visitation will be held at the Church of St. Norbert Abbey beginning at 8:00 AM on Saturday, 16 February 2019 with Lauds of the Dead – Reception of the Body and concluding at 10:00 AM. The Mass of Christian Burial, expressing our faith and hope in the promised glory of the Lord’s Resurrection, will begin at 10:30 AM. Rt. Rev. Dane J. Radecki, O. Praem., Abbot of St. Norbert Abbey, will preside at the funeral liturgy. Rt. Rev. Joel P. Garner, O. Praem. Abbot of Santa Maria de la Vid Abbey, Albuquerque, NM will serve as homilist.
Burial will take place at a later date.
Ryan Funeral Home, De Pere, is in charge of the arrangements.