Jesuit Brother Norbert Aloysius Vogt died on May 16, 2015, at Saint Louis University Hospital after suffering a stroke. He was 86 years old and a Jesuit for 65 years.
Br. Vogt was born in Portage des Sioux, Missouri, on Feb. 26, 1929. He attended grade school at St. Francis in Portage, and then at St. Charles Borromeo in St. Charles, Missouri. He graduated from St. Charles High School in 1946. After working as a laborer for a few years, he entered the novitiate at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri, on Jan. 30, 1950, following the normal period of postulancy. He took his first vows on Feb. 2, 1952. His first 10 years of vowed life were as a cook at St. Stanislaus; he did his tertianship in El Paso (1959-60) and pronounced final vows on Feb. 2, 1960, at St. Stanislaus.
On more than one occasion, Br. Vogt had offered himself to for service in Belize; it was something that he prayed for on a daily basis. In 1962, Fr. Linus Thro fulfilled this desire by missioning Br. Vogt to serve at Holy Redeemer Parish in Belize. For the next 50 years, Br. Vogt worked in Belize, punctuated only by a six-month sabbatical in Berkeley in 1985. For almost all of those years, he served the apostolate and community of St. John’s College in Belize City in a variety of positions: community minister, house and college treasurer, consultor and treasurer to the mission superior. Declining health dictated his move to the Fusz Pavilion at Jesuit Hall in 2012, where he fulfilled his final mission to pray for the church and the Society.
Br. Vogt’s ministry always placed him at the center of community life, serving the needs of his fellow Jesuits. His was a gentle and edifying presence. In his work he showed great prudence, tact and good judgment, enjoying the confidence of those he served in vital and sensitive ways. Whether as guest master, minister, treasurer or consultor, he welcomed many Jesuits to Belize, caring especially for those in formation and helping them to discover God’s presence in their lives while in a culture different from their own. In those years he saw many changes in the church, the Society and the province’s presence in Belize. He demonstrated a creative sensitivity in adjusting his own life and in assisting others in their lives and work during a period of changing roles and deeply changing relationships. In the process, he learned a great deal about the church and its ministries and put this learning to good and practical use.
He is preceded in death by his parents, William Ignatius Vogt and Agnes Mary Boschert Vogt, his brother Lawrence Vogt and his sisters Louise Peth and Mary Alfred. He is survived by his brothers Donald, William and George Vogt and his sisters Irene Knoblauch, Margaret Burns and Emma Wilma Billing.