discerned a call to the religious life, left college, and completed his Bachelor's degree at Mount Angel Seminary, a Benedictine School. He entered the Benedictine Novitiate in 1942 , taking "Ignatius" as his religious name,and began four years of theological study. In 1946 he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest and in 1948 professed his formal vows as a Benedictine monk.
Scripture, taking time briefly in 1955 to make a study trip to the Near East with the Pontifical Biblical Institute. In
1958 he was named Professor of Old Testament at Conception Abbey Seminary, Conception, MO. [I'm familiar with Conception Abbey and the Seminary from my visit there in early February, 1968, to confer with then-Dean, Fr. James Jones, OSB, regarding the procedure for laicization from the Catholic priesthood. Fr. James was practically the only recognized authority on the subject at that time, at least in that area if not in the country. I remember him with great admiration and gratitude for his wisdom and kindness.] In 1961 Joseph undertook advanced studies in the Old Testament and received a Bachelor in Sacred Scriptures degree and a licentiate in Sacred Scriptures from the Pontifical Biblical institute in Rome and the École Biblique in Jerusalem: no mean accomplishment! During these years he taught summer courses at St. John's University, Collegeville, MN, and did further study at the University
of Chicago and in both Rome and Nijmegen, Holland, under a Union Theological Seminary program. In 1963 he
returned for three years to his professorship at Conception Abbey and also taught at summer courses at St. Louis
University and the University of San Francisco.