THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Fr. Vincent J. De Leers O. Praem
Issue Date: February 21, 2019
A former area Priest, Father Vincent Joseph De Leers, O. Praem., 100, a member of the Norbertine Community of St. Norbert Abbey, De Pere and a Norbertine Priest, passed away Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019.
He was born on April 29, 1918, in Menominee, Mi., to Alphonse and Alice (Vincent) De Leers. His home parish was Our Lady of Lourdes in Marinette.
In 1939, Father De Leers received a B.A. degree in Chemistry from St. Norbert College, De Pere, a Master's degree in Biochemistry from UW-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 Aug. 28, 1942 and professed Simple Vows on Sept. 27, 1943, Solemn Vows on June 7, 1946 and was ordained to the Priesthood on June 15, 1946.
In 1943, Father De Leers was on the faculty at St. Norbert High School College, De Pere and St. Norbert College and continued his ministry there for many years. He spent three 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, he 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 two 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.
He is survived by the Norbertine Community; two daughters, Abigail (Thad) De Leers and Jessica (Jason Andrew) Lenderman and two grandsons, Giuseppe De Leers-Certo and Jason Erik Lenderman.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his step-mother, Gertrude Laird; a brother, Lawrence and four sisters, Lucille Scoggins, Virginia Jaques, Mary Komp and Lois McCanna.
Visitation was held at the Church of St. Norbert Abbey on Saturday, Feb. 16 with Lauds of the Dead - Reception of the Body and concluding at 10 a.m. The Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:30 a.m. Rt. Rev. Dane J. Radecki, O. Praem., Abbot of St. Norbert Abbey, presided at the Funeral Liturgy. Rt. Rev. Joel P. Garner, O. Praem. Abbot of Santa Maria de la Vid Abbey, Albuquerque, N.M. was homilist. Burial will take place later. Ryan Funeral Home of De Pere was in charge of the arrangements.