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Father Alfred Boeddeker collection

Identifier: ML-003

Scope and Contents

The collection contains stories on Marian apparitions and devotions, brochures, prayers, sheet music, newspaper clippings, ephemera, and materials for a course in Mariology. A folder of biographical information containing articles, newspaper clippings, and writings on Father Boeddeker's life and death, was added to the end of the collection by the Marian Library staff.


  • Creation: circa 1963-1970



This collection is open and available to the public for research in the Marian Library reading room. The materials are non-circulating.

Copyright Notice

The materials in this collection may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The materials are available for personal, educational, and scholarly use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to locate and obtain permission form the copyright owner or his or her heirs for any other use, such as reproduction and publication.

Biography of Father Alfred Boeddeker, O.F.M.

Anton Boeddeker was born in San Francisco, California on August 7, 1903 to Bertha and Joseph Boeddeker, both German immigrants. After their home was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, the family relocated to Oakland, California. Anton was the fifth child in a family of eight children. The Boeddekers lived near St. Elizabeth's Church in the Fruitvale district of Oakland. The Franciscan church became the spiritual, educational, and social center of their lives. In June, 1914, Anton entered the seminary in Santa Barbara, California. At age 17, he took his vows as a Franciscan friar (Order of Friars Minor) and received the name Alfred. He completed his studies in 1927 and was ordained on June 11th of that year.

In 1930 he traveled to Rome, Italy to study canon law and theology at Antonianum University and in 1933 received a Lector Generalis degree. Father Boeddeker returned to California to teach canon law, theology, and liturgy at the Franciscan School of Theology in Santa Barbara. He spent the next fifteen years there, teaching and establishing humanitarian programs in the community. In the late 1940s, Father Boeddeker was selected to establish a Catholic university in Hankow, China. In preparation for this assignment, he enrolled in a graduate program at the University of California, Berkeley, to study Mandarin, Japanese and Russian languages, and Chinese culture. The plans were cancelled when China closed its doors to Westerners in 1949. Following this, he was appointed pastor of St. Boniface Church, in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco.

On October 4th, 1950, Father Boeddeker established St. Anthony's Dining Room, to serve free meals to the poor in the community. The Dining Room became a thriving charitable organization in San Francisco. In 1954, he established St. Anthony's Farm in Petaluma, California, as a center for work and rehabilitation. That same year he founded the Marian Center and Library at St. Boniface Church and the National Marian Congress on the West Coast.

He served as president of the Franciscan National Marian Commission from 1955-1979 and was associate editor of The Marian Era, published by the Franciscan Herald Press from 1960-1979. In addition, Father Boeddeker was a member of the Mariological Society of America, the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Pontificia Academia Mariana Internationalis. Father Boeddeker retired in 1980. He passed away on January 1st, 1994 in San Francisco, California.


1 Linear Feet (2 document cases)

Language of Materials



The Father Alfred Boeddeker collection contains stories on Marian apparitions and devotions, brochures, prayers, sheet music, newspaper clippings, ephemera, and materials for a course in Mariology. Father Boeddeker was a Franciscan priest based in California. He was the founder of the St. Anthony Dining Room in San Francisco, and is known for his humanitarian work as well as his participation in a number of Marian organizations.


This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was in the custody of the St. Anthony Foundation from 1994 to 2010.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the Marian Library by the St. Anthony Foundation in San Francisco, California in 2010.

Related Material

The Franciscan National Marian Commission records (ML.002) were maintained by Fr. Boeddeker, who was a member since 1947 and president from 1955-1974. The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary, United States Branch records (ML.001, Box 2, Folder 4), contains Fr. Boeddekers correspondence regarding the International Ecumenical Conference (1975-1987).

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jillian Slater in 2011.

Guide to the Father Alfred Boeddeker collection, 1963-1970
Jillian Slater
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Marian Library

Repository Details

Part of the University Libraries Repository

300 College Park Dr.
Dayton Ohio 45469-1360