Rev Leopold Henry Tibesar

Rev Leopold Henry Tibesar 1898 - 1970

The American Catholic Who’s Who, 1960 and 1961, Volume 14

Tibesar, Rev. Leopold Henry (M.M.), missionary; born Quincy, Illinois, August 27, 1898; son of Joseph Nicholas and Mary Christine (Blomer) Tibesar; education Quincy High School and College A.B. 1915, M.A. 1916, Kenrick Seminary 1916 – 1919, Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) Catholic University of America CUA 1920 Lector of Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) 1923; joined Maryknoll, September 1920; ordained, June 26, 1921; taught dogmatic theology Maryknoll Seminary 1920 – 1926; missioned to Japan, 1926; pastor, Dairen, Manchuria, 1927 – 1931; taught psychology, Maryknoll, 1932 – 1933; Japanese mission, Los Angeles, 1933 – 1935; pastor, Seattle Japanese Mission, 1935 – 1938; helped start Missionary Bulletin, Tokyo, 1947; founding pastor, Ginza Catholic Church, 7th Floor, Mitsukoshi Dept Store, 1947 – 1952; assistant director Catholic Education in Japan, 1947; founder, Caritas-Japan, National Catholic Charities, national president, 1947-; founder St. Vincent de Paul Society Japan, national spiritual director, 1952-; secretary general National Catholic Commission of Japan, 1949- ; president Catholic Anthropol. Conference, 1935 – 1938, director, 1926- . Home: 6 Kioicho Kojimachi Chiyodo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

Father Leopold Tibesar

Father Tibesar celebrating the First Holy Communion of some of his Japanese parishioners at the Minidoka internment camp for Japanese citizens in 1943. Photo courtesy of Maryknoll Mission Archives.

Note: The thriving Seattle, Washington Maryknoll parish community was devastated by the internment of Japanese citizens that followed the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Many of Seattle’s Japanese residents were sent to camps in Puyallup and Idaho. Their Maryknoll priests, Father Tibesar and Father Boesflug, went with them, and continued to minister to them through the war years. But when the Japanese returned to Seattle, they were uprooted from the old neighborhood. They settled in other areas, and the community was scattered.