A monk of many talents and services to the Church and its people, a monk and priest with multiple roles, Father James Downey was born in Plattsburg, Mo., September 19, 1920. He attended St. Rita High School in Cameron, Mo., and graduated from Plattsburg High School in 1938.Read More
"Thus, never departing from His guidance, but persevering in His teaching in the monastery until death, we may by patience share in the sufferings of Christ, that we may merit to be partakers of His kingdom." -Rule of St. Benedict, Prologue
St. Benedict's Abbey has a rich history, woven with the lives of hundreds of monks who served God and the monastic community. This page uses the Necrology, a book that includes a list of every deceased monk from the abbey, to tell their stories.
Father Edwin Kassens, the nephew of Father Peter Kassens, mentioned in the account of the call or vocation of Father Matthias Stein for January 26, was born in Vincennes, Ind. He came to Kansas and enrolled in St. Benedict’s College. John Kassens was given the name Edwin and was professed in 1884, ordained in 1889.Read More
After some studies at St. Benedict’s High School and College, Matthias made first profession July 11, 1891, and was ordained June 28, 1896. He was named Director of the College in 1897 and Business Manager of the College for 18 years.Read More
A quote from an obituary on file in the Abbey archives will have to suffice for the necrology entry for Father Bede: “Rev. Bede Durham, OSB, chaplain of the Saint Elizabeth Hospital, Elizabeth, N.J., died last Thursday at the age of 67 years.Read More
“Paul the Priest” as he styled himself, was born in Victoria, Kan., among the Capuchins but came to Atchison for an education in 1903. He entered the Abbey July 2, 1909, finished his college studies at St. John’s, Collegeville, Minn., and began theology there but finished theological studies at Atchison. He was ordained December 15, 1915. He became infirmarian of the College and teacher of German, Latin, and physiology.Read More
During World War II some German U-boat prisoners of war murdered a fellow prisoner at a camp in Texas. They were tried, convicted and sent to the disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to await execution by hanging. Father Justin, then Chaplain to the Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, ministered to those men to the time of the execution.Read More