Born : 12th September, 1872 - Galens, Illinois, USA
Died : 7th May, 1949 - Galens, Illinois, USA
Buried : St.Mary's Cemetary, Galens, Illinois, USA
Occupation : Catholic priest
Parents : Father - German descent, Mother - Irish descent. Both born in the USA.
In the 1900 Census for Delta, Colorado, he was age 27 and living as an initiate monk in St. Julian's Monastery.
1920 Census he lived at 44 Geneva Street, Akron, Colorado. Occupation: Catholic Priest.
1930 Census living at 71 Matson Avenue in Crested Buttes, Colorado.
Occupation: Pastor of a Catholic Church.
Joseph was 56 years old when he wrote his letter to Meher Baba in 1928.
Thanks to Randy Wasserstrom for sharing the following information on the PDF.
From "Tavern Talk"
Avatar Meher Baba P.P.C. Trust
HEART TALK -- AKI Secretary Collection -- Fourth Letter
Below is another letter from Joseph N. Oldenburg, who had a previous
letter posted on Heart Talk three weeks ago.
Thanks to David Fenster and Jeanne Kassof, we now have more
information about Joseph Oldenberg, whose letter to Baba is posted
below. Joseph learned of Baba prior to 1927, so he might have been
Baba's first contact in America, and was at least among the first.
There may have been others, but in 1926 Baba had the early
correspondence burnt. A letter to Baba from Joseph is mentioned in
Chanji's Diary on 1 January, 1927.
Briefly, Joseph was born in Galens, Illinois in 1872 and was buried
there in 1949. He was of Irish/German descent and both his parents
were born in the USA. In 1900 he was in an initiate monk in St.
Julian's Monastery, Delta, Colorado and subsequently served as a
Catholic priest in different parishes in Colorado.
His mother was Frenymasi, Mehera's aunt,
and he would have certainly known of Baba.
Joseph N. Oldenburg
My dearest, beloved and most Respected Guruji and Divine Father Shree
First of all, I lay my head on thy Divine Feet for thy Derson
[Darshan] and Blessings, my beloved Divine Bawaji and Divine Guruji
I write this letter to your goodself for only to let your goodself
know that the other day I received your looked for and very welcome
letter of Nov. 21st 1929. It gave me much pleasure.
I use the ash according to the instructions of your goodself. The
Doctor tells me there is quite an amount of pus in my urine, coming
from the Prostate Gland and the bladder. The Doctors advised me to
undergo an operation, I do not wish to do so. Please let me know if I
should or should not have the operation! Please help me and cure me of
this ailment or inflammation, my beloved Divine Guruji, Shree Santguru
Meher-Baba. I feel that your goodself can cure me. If your goodself
wishes to me to go on any diet please let me know and I will carry out
your goodself's instruction in as far as I can possibly do so.
If I am correct it was on Oct 1-1926 that your goodself accepted me as
your goodself's student. My Divine Father and beloved Divine Guruji
Almighty assist me and help me to rise high-higher into God
consciousness. I feel within me that I am being raised or gaining in
spiritual knowledge. Is this correct my Divine Father and beloved
Now I retire from your goodelf with my head on thy Divine Feet for thy
Dersons [Darshan] and Blessings. Please accept my mightiest
worshipping love and kisses from me for your goodself. I am as ever
Your most humble Disciple,
Joseph N. Oldenburg.
Dec. 27th, 1929
This week's letter, dated 28 December 1928, is from a man who wrote
many letters to Baba, but we have been unable to find out anything
about him apart from what he reveals his letters. It is not clear how
he came into contact with Baba. He has beautiful handwriting, but his
spelling stumbles from time to time and his use of language suggests
that English may not be his first language.
Some adjustments have been made for readability.
Joseph N. Oldenburg
Dec. 28 -1928.
My dearest, beloved and most Respected Guruji and Divine Father
Shree Santguru Meher-Baba:
First of all, I lay head on thy Divine Feet for thy Dersons [Darshan]
and Blessings, my beloved Divine Bawaji and Divine Guruji Almighty.
I write this letter to your goodself for to let your goodself know
that often do I think of your goodself both day and night, my thoughts
go out to your goodself.
I have been expecting to receive a letter from your goodself, but none
came, I always look forward to receiving a letter from your goodself.
I hear the raps frequently I also hear something like a voice trying
to speak to me.
If there is anything I can do in order to assist or help me to unfold
God-consciousness please let me know.
My Divine Guruji, your goodself know that I wish your goodself all
joy-happiness and success for the New Year.
Now, I retire from your goodself with my head on thy Divine Feet for
thy Dersons [Darshan[ and Blessings. Please accept my mightiest
worshiping love from me for your goodself.
I am as ever,
Your most humble Disciple
Joseph N. Oldenburg.
Letter to Meher Baba dated April 29, 1931
Copyright © 1989 The Archdiocese of Denver
Joseph was born and buried here.
Joseph attended a monastery here, then. It no longer exists.
Crested Butte, Colorado
Joseph was living here at the time when he wrote his letter to Meher Baba.