Benedictine Father Boniface Hardin, a leader in the search for social justice and civil rights, died March 24 in an Indianapolis nursing home. He was 78, was a monk of St. Meinrad Archabbey and was a native of Bardstown, Ky.
Father Hardin was ordained to the priesthood on May 11, 1959, and served as assistant pastor at Holy Angels Church in Indianapolis for six years, beginning in 1965. It was during those years that the priest became most visibly involved in the civil rights struggle. In 1969, he founded the Martin Center in Indianapolis — the precursor of Martin University. The original center was an Institute of Afro-American Studies named in honor of both St. Martin de Porres and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin University was founded in 1977 by Father Hardin and Sister Jane Schilling. Its mission was to serve low-income, minority and adult learners. Father Hardin retired as the university’s president in 2007.
Additional information about Father Hardin will be included in a story in next week’s edition of The Record.
The Office of the Dead will be prayed March 29 beginning at 7 p.m. in the St. Meinrad Archabbey Church, St. Meinrad, Ind. It will be followed by visitation until 9 p.m. in the church. Visitation will also be held at the church from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. on March 30. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held March 30 at 10 a.m. with burial to follow in the Archabbey Cemetery. (All times are Central Daylight Time.)