By Matt Palmer
Growing up, Monsignor Thomas J. Tewes looked up to his Gibbons Avenue neighbor Bobby. Their families were close and they each worshipped at thriving Hamilton parish St. Dominic during the mid-1900s.
Bobby became a friend of more than 70 years and that’s why Monsignor Tewes mourned Monsignor Robert A. Bozel, who died Jan. 7 at 88.
“It’s a great loss,” said Monsignor Tewes, a priest of 48 years. “We became closer friends after I was ordained. As a young priest, I would go to him and get advice. I could always turn to Bobby when I needed him. He was Bobby to me and I was Tommy to him.”
Monsignor Tewes was to deliver the homily at Monsignor Bozel’s funeral Jan. 11 at St. Joseph Church in Cockeysville. Viewing and family visitations were scheduled for Jan. 10 for 2-4 p.m. and 7-9:00 p.m. at Ruck Towson Funeral Home in Towson.
He is survived by one lay sister, Ann Delaney, and two others who are members of the Daughters of Charity in Emmitsburg, Sister Mary Ann and Sister Rita Bozel.
Monsignor Bozel was one of 10 children and brother William was a member of the Christian Brothers as well and predeceased Monsignor Bozel.
Monsignor Bozel is survived many nieces and nephews as well.
Ordained in 1948, he attended St. Charles Minor Seminary and later St. Mary’s Seminary on Paca Street and then Roland Park.
During his clergy career, he was a Stella Maris and Villa Maria chaplain from 1955 to 1962 and was a teacher from 1962 to 1964 at St. Paul Latin High School.
He was associate pastor at St. John the Evangelist, Frederick; St. Edward, Baltimore; St. Elizabeth, Baltimore; St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Pasadena; Holy Trinity, Glen Burnie and St. Augustine, Elkridge. He briefly served as temporary administrator of St. Lawrence, Woodlawn and then began acting as the director of Archdiocese of Baltimore’s director of pastoral services to retired priests during the last 1980s and early 1990s.
“He was a very compassionate priest,” Monsignor Tewes said of Monsignor Bozel. “He was very friendly toward his people.”
One of his longest stays was as pastor of St. Michael, Poplar Springs, where he served from 1976 to 1988 and opened the parish’s new church building in 1983.
Father Michael Ruane, pastor of St. Michael, succeeded Monsignor Bozel at the Western Howard County parish in 1988.
“He helped create a small, warm, friendly, welcoming community of about 600 families here,” Father Ruane said.
Monsignor Bozel retired in 1994. Father Ruane’s maintained contacted with Monsignor Bozel, who invited him to play tennis.
“He had a good sense of humor,” Father Ruane said.
Added Monsignor Tewes, a frequent golf and tennis partner: “He wasn’t a star athlete, but he liked sports.”
During his early priestly career, Monsignor Bozel also served as a chauffeur and friend for Archbishop Francis Patrick Keough.
“He had a very even personality,” Monsignor Tewes said of his friend. “He always had a smile and a good word.”
Mass cards and notes of condolence may be sent to Sister Rita Bozel at:
333 S. Seton Ave
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
The family requests that memorial gifts be given in Monsignor Bozel’s name to:
St. Agnes Hospital
900 Caton Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21229
St. Joseph Medical Center
7601 Osler Dr.
Towson, MD 21204