Jesuit Brother Harold A. Teel, missionary, pastoral minister and educator, died Feb. 5, 2019, in St. Louis. He was 91 years of age and a Jesuit for 68 years.
Fr. Teel was born Aug. 7, 1927, in Indianola, Nebraska. He was preceded in death by his parents, Oscar A. Teel and Martha Behnke Teel, his sisters Celia McConville, Trudy Wagner and Mary Alice Teel, and brothers Lawrence Teel, Ray Teel, Robert Teel and Bro. Matthew Teel, C.M. He is survived by a sister, Kassie (Mrs. David) Uerling.
He entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) on Aug. 17, 1950, at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri. As a junior brother, he was a gardener at the seminary. He then served at St. Joseph’s Hall in Decatur, Illinois; at Sacred Heart Retreat House in Sedalia, Colorado; and Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri.
He was missioned to Belize in 1970, where he taught for four years at St. John’s College in Belize City. He saw a need in Yoro, Honduras, and spent four years there doing pastoral work. He became committed to the people there and helped oversee the office work for the Jesuit mission (1975-87), while continuing pastoral duties.
He returned to the United States in 1987 to serve as minister at the novitiate in Denver. He relished this assignment for the opportunity to promote vocations to the Jesuit brotherhood. In 1992, he returned to Belize, working at St. Peter Claver Parish in Punta Gorda, as well as its far-flung missions. He did a tremendous job organizing and training the catechists in the villages around Punta Gorda, preparing them to fill in on days when no priest was available to preside at a liturgy. He would work in pastoral ministry there for 20 years.
He returned to St. Louis in 2012 and was assigned to work in pastoral ministry at Jesuit Hall. In 2015, he began a ministry of prayer for the Church and the Society of Jesus.
Br. Teel served in the Merchant Marine in the Colorado National Guard and studied at Regis College in Denver. He taught for a year before entering the Jesuits. He completed his college education at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, earning a Bachelor of Arts in economics with minors in education, philosophy, and history.