Father Joe has lived among the poor in Thailand and Laos since 1967. His Religious Obedience was to Bangkok to study official Bangkok spoken Thai; then as Parish priest to a remote Lao-speaking Catholic village in the rural North East of Thailand, thus another language; then to a Catholic Hill Tribe Village, where he studied the H’mong language in Northern Laos, and back to Bangkok, again in 1972 to serve a 25-year tenure as the Parish Priest to the Catholic community in the slaughterhouse neighborhood. Fr. Joe joined with Sister Maria Chantavarodom in 1973 to start the Human Development Foundation for his poor neighbors of all religions.
He holds advanced degrees in Theological Studies and Urban Planning as well as an honorary doctorate in Social Administration from Thammasart University here in Thailand, and Acadia in Canada. He has received numerous awards for outstanding citizenship, including a lifetime achievement award presented by Her Majesty the Queen of Thailand. Father Joe still lives in and works for the children in Klong Toey where his work here first began.
- 1962 - Bachelor of Arts and Master's Degree, Philosophy, Immaculate Conception Major Seminary, Oconomowoc Wisconsin.
- 1965 - Ordained a Catholic Priest in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer: Redemptorists.
- 1966 - Bachelor of Divinity Degree
- 1981 - Masters Degree in Urban Development and Slum Improvement, Asian Institute of Technology – Bangkok.