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Omaha native served as retreat leader

Jesuit Father Joseph Bona, an Omaha native whose nearly 50 years of service centered on retreats and spiritual direction, died July 17 in Grand Coteau., La. He was 91.

A funeral Mass was held July 29 in the chapel at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, site of the Jesuit Spirituality Center and novitiate. Interment was in the Jesuit Cemetery.

Father Bona began a career in business but turned to the Jesuits at age 41, entering St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Mo., in September 1967. He made first vows in 1969, was ordained in 1972 and made final vows in 1978 in the cave of St. Ignatius at Manresa in Spain.

He served in parishes in St. Louis and Kansas City, in a retreat ministry that included 30-day retreats in Manresa, and at a retreat house in Liberty, Mo. He also served as director of business and finance, house librarian and retreat director at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mo.

From 1983 to 1991 he helped with retreats and spiritual direction at the spirituality center in Grand Coteau and coordinated taping of the "Morning Reflections" by the Jesuits at St. Charles College, which were broadcast on local television.

From 1991 to 1994 Father Bona served at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in Wernersville, Pa., and from 1994 until this year he lived at the Xavier Jesuit Center in Denver, providing retreats, spiritual direction and pastoral ministry.

Father Bona moved back to Grand Coteau last spring and served by praying for the church and the society.

Preceded in death by his parents, John G. and Anna Domotor Bona, a brother, George, and sister, Mary Pivonka, Father Bona is survived by nieces and a nephew.

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