Baptized Peter at his birth in Balgonie on Sept. 20, 1924, Fr. Joseph was one of 15 children in the family of Andrew and Emilia Ackerman. His father was employed by the Canadian Pacific Railroad Co., which necessitated moving to various locations. He received his early education in Wolseley, Estevan and Regina. After a brief period of employment, Fr. Joseph enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force, serving oversees in the Second World War from 1943-45.
A new direction was taken by Fr. Joseph from 1947-51 when he attended St. Peter’s College in Muenster and then entered the Order of St. Benedict where he received his name “Joseph.” He took his seminary studies at St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minn. and was ordained to the priesthood, June 8, 1958 at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Muenster. Following ordination Fr. Joseph taught at St. Peter’s College, assisted in various parishes, served as assistant business manager at St. Peter’s Abbey and became pastor of the Muenster and St. Gregory parishes.
In 1970, he went on a sabbatical where he studied at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and then at Duke University, Durham, N.C. In 1971 he was appointed pastor of St. Anthony and St. James parishes, Lake Lenore. His next assignment was the Pilger and Middle Lake parishes. He then served the parishes of Bruno and Peterson. He retired as a full-time pastor in 2016 at the age of 91. In 2017, Fr. Joseph moved to Prairie View retirement home in Bruno.
Known for his sense of humour and gentle disposition, Fr. Joseph was well liked by his parishioners. He joined them at coffee row and at sports events. A local park in Bruno was named in his honour. Fr. Joseph loved reading and sharing his knowledge and wisdom in his homilies. Wherever Fr. Joseph served, he was active in parish and community groups. He enjoyed the outdoors having a fondness for hunting, fishing, skating, hockey and golf.
For the repose of his soul each priest of our community will offer three Masses. In the other houses of our congregation he is recommended to the usual suffrages for deceased confreres.
Abbot and community
Saint Peter’s Abbey