Fr. Conrad Pillar (1921-2001)


James Pillar entered St. Andrew’s Abbey, Cleveland, Ohio, after attending Benedictine High School there.  He took the name Anselm and as Frater Anselm came to St. Benedict’s College.  He transferred his stability to St. Benedict’s Abbey and made solemn vows here July 11, 1946.  Former Arnold Tkacik was also his classmate and a transfer from Cleveland. 

After ordination in 1947 Father Conrad pursued studies in chemistry and attained a doctor’s degree from Notre Dame in organic chemistry in 1955.  The remainder of his career he spent teaching chemistry at St. Benedict’s and later Benedictine College.  He was also a dorm prefect notably at St. Joseph’s Hall and the defunct St. Michael’s Hall. 

Father Conrad retired from teaching in 1985 and became pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Sabetha, Kan., and of St. Augustine’s, Fidelity, Kan.   They were his first and only parishes.  He took mightily to the work and a crowning achievement is the Church and rectory he built at Sabetha.  This achievement was in keeping with his interest in construction and things practical.

An auto accident in 1999 left him weakened and he returned to the abbey. Jan. 1, 2001 he suffered a massive stroke and later died at St. Luke’s Hospital, Kansas City, Mo.