HANCEVILLE, Alabama — 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. Cullman Times (Alabama)
FATHER ROBERT J. FOX FOUNDER OF FATIMA FAMILY APOSTOLATE HAS PASSED AWAY
Father Robert J. Fox passed away at his home on Thanksgiving day at 12:45 P.M. He died a peaceful and happy death. He was anointed the night before and he also offered Mass. A wake service will be held at the Shrine of The Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville Alabama. The body will arrive at 3:00 P.M. and the rosary at 7:00 P.M. His burial will be in Alexandria South Dakota at St. Mary of Mercy Catholic Church. Please check this site for more information for more funeral details.
A wake service for Father Fox will be held at St. Mary of Mercy in Alexandria South Dakota on Friday from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M. The Funeral Mass will be on Saturday at 10:30 A.M. Thank you for your prayers.
Important Note Concerning Father Fox
Fr. Robert J. Fox, founder of the Fatima Family Apostolate International(FFA) is in serious condition from prostrate and bone cancer. For close to 25 years he has been editor of FFA's magazine, "The Immaculate Heart Messenger", which is published in both the U.S. and the Phillipines. Beginning with the Jan-March 2010 issue, John Preiss who is currently President of the FFA will become the new editor. Father Fox will write a "Founders Corner" as long as health permits.
Father Fox has offered Mass daily at the Shrine of The Most Blessed Sacrament, founded by Mother Angelica of Eternal Word Televison Network. He has offered Mass at this Shrine during the last 7 years until incapacitated recently by the cancer. He now says Mass sitting down in his home close to the Shrine.
When his time of departure arrives there will be a special wake service at the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament before his body is transported to his last parish of St. Mary of Mercy, Alexandria, S.D. for a funeral Mass and burial at the nearby cemetery. This article will remain at the top of this site and we will add any future developments. EWTN will soon interview Father Fox at the Fatima Family Center and its Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Hanceville, AL. which is now headquarters for the Fatima Family Apostolate International.
Send us a letter to the Editor of the Immaculate Heart Messenger.
Please send us your questions comments or articles to I.H.M., P.O. Box 269, Hanceville,AL. 35077. We need more questions and comments for issues of the Immaculate Heart Messenger. If you a had an experience at Fatima or with Father Fox please write us. It may possibly be used in a upcoming issue.
Eternal Rest Grant Unto Him, O Lord
And Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Him;
May His Soul, and all the Souls of the Faithful Departed,
Through the Mercy of God, Rest in Peace.