Josef D'Heygers was Mater Dei's caretaker from 1956 until his passing in April 2010. He emigrated to the U.S. from his native Belgium and lived humbly here on campus adopting Mater Dei as his family. Countless alumni, lifetime parents, grandparents and friends of Mater Dei knew Josef and had special memories of who he was and what he did for Mater Dei.
Since his passing in 2010, however, our newest generations of Monarchs and faculty and staff do not know who he was. It is so important to us as a community that we keep his legacy alive, honor him, and tell his story. In 2019, we inaugurated Josef Day with a series of videos and a campus wide discussion on April 17 (Josef's birthday). In conjunction with Josef Day, the Monarch Legacy Society was also renamed in his honor as Josef's Legacy Guild. Josef's life is a true model of Mater Dei's core values of Honor, Glory and Love. He selflessly gave of himself in so many ways to the Monarch community and was one of the founding donors of Mater Dei's legacy giving program.
Josef Day 2020 will be observed on Wednesday, April 8 (as April 17 falls over Spring Break). As a Monarch community, we will Journey with Josef throughout the Lenten Season. We challenge all Monarchs to #LiveLikeJosef.