Br. John Kaighin (1944-2002)


Brother John died on January 10 of a heart attack while gathering firewood. His heart was weakened also by type-one diabetes; he had medicated since being a teenager.  Brother John was born in Lexington, Neb., and achieved a degree in music from St. Benedict’s College in 1966.  He attended summer sessions at Kearney State in Nebraska, and taught music in the public schools at Burr Oak, Doniphan and Elwood.

Brother John Professed his monastic vows September 2, 1973, and then began a long career of monastic service as a teacher of music in the Atchison Catholic Elementary School System.  He was a prefect at Maur Hill as well taught English as a Second language, and later taught the same at Benedictine College. 

Brother John edited Abbey News and Views (now Home Pages) for many years, was abbey librarian, assistant vocation and postulant director, and on the Council of Seniors, 1991-92, at the request of Abbot Owen.  Some of the biographical material used for this Necrology is available because of John’s work on the aforementioned Abbey News and Views.

Perhaps Brother John is best remembered as a charter member along with Brothers Anthony and Robert, of the Abbey Garden Crew.  This group of brothers and their helpers brought good food to the abbey table and to many friends in the area.  It was while working to gather wood for others that John met the Lord face to face.