- Cullman, Alabama


November 28, 2009

Father Robert Joseph Fox

HANCEVILLE — Father Robert Joseph Fox, 81, of Hanceville, died Thursday, November 26, 2009, at his residence.

He was born in Watertown, S.D. on Dec. 24, 1927 to Aloysius and Susie Emma Lorentz Fox. He attended St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn. for two years and then received his philosophical and theology studies at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. (1949-1955).

He was ordained by Bishop William O. Brady in St. Joseph's Cathedral in Sioux Falls, SD on April 24, 1955. He was assistant pastor at St. Lawrence Parish in Milbank, SD from May 18, 1955 to Jan. 15, 1959. On Jan. 15, 1959 he was assigned to St. Anthony's in Hoven, SD until August, 1959.

He was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in Yankton until Jan. 2, 1961. He served St. Anthony's of Bristol, SD (with mission of Lily) from June 1961 until Sept. 1, 1965. He was then assigned to St. Joseph's, Mobridge until Sept. 1, 1970. In 1970 he returned as pastor to St. Lawrence, Milbank for 2 years (Sept. 1, 1970 - June 22, 1972).

On June 22, 1972 he was assigned to St. Bernard's Parish in Redfield, SD for 12 years. He was then assigned to Immaculate Conception Parish in Waubay, SD for 10 months.

His next assignment was to Alexandria, SD on May 8, 1985, where he was pastor for a little more than 18 years until July 1, 2003. There he built a major Marian Shrine and had national Congresses with thousands attending. The Mother Vicar of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, learning of Father Fox's retirement; invited him to assist at the Shrine where he arrived in July 2003. For years since then he has offered Mass daily in the lower church of the large Shrine Church and heard confessions of the Poor Clare Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

For years, Father Fox was a columnist to the National Catholic Register. He also wrote for others, a frequent contributer for years to Our Sunday Visitor, writing often on Catechetics. Besides hundreds of articles for Catholic publications, Father Fox wrote approximately 50 books.

He authored several Catechisms and prayerbooks, which each sold hundreds of thousands of copies. He directed all royalties to charity or furthering the Fatima Family Apostolate (FFA) which works for the education and sanctification of the family and individuals. After some years of other Catholic agencies printing his books, especially Our Sunday Visitor, Father founded the FFA at the encouragement of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

The FFA has continued to print his books and be a seperate entity. On December 13, 2008 the headquarters building for the Fatima Family Apostolate, known as Fatima Family Center, was established in Hanceville. The Immaculate Heart Messenger magazine, which Father Fox originated close to 25 years ago, continues to be printed. His devotion to the Mother of God is witnessed in many books and Shrines to her at Redfield, Milbank and Alexandria, South Dakota.

He is survived by a brother, Lotentz (Fran) Fox of Yankston, S.D., and a host of nieces, nephews, other family and friends.

Arrangements are being handled by Hanceville Funeral Home.

A wake will be held on Monday at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville from 3 to 8:30 p.m., with a rosary at 7 p.m.

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