Obituary for Br. Anthony Vorwerk

Funeral arrangements for Br. Anthony Vorwerk, OSB: 
Vespers for the dead – Monday, January 21, 7 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial – Tuesday, January 22, 10:30 a.m.

Brother Anthony Vorwerk (January 25, 1931 – January 17, 2019.) died peacefully on Thursday, January 17, fortified by the Sacraments of the Church, having received the Apostolic Pardon.

Leo Vorwerk was born on January 25, 1931, the son of Lawrence and Nelli née Haag  in Dodgeville, Iowa. He graduated from Burlington Catholic High School in 1951. Upon entering religious life he requested Anthony as his monastic name.  He said he often prayed to St. Anthony of Padua to “help him find stuff.” Brother Anthony professed his vows as a monk of St. Benedict’s Abbey on December 27, 1953.

Over the years he worked at the Abbey Student Press from 1951-1953; as a groundskeeper for St. Benedict’s College from 1953-1971; as porter of the Abbey from 1987-2010; and as a groundskeeper at the Abbey from 1957-2010. Even with his retirement, he continued to have an interest in what was going on around the Abbey and college campus, often spending time in the workshop making various crafts from wood.

As a young man Brother Anthony was a gifted athlete, playing baseball, basketball and football. He used that energy over his years as a monk to cultivate friendships. It made no difference whether one was rich or poor, man or woman, or how intelligent one was, all found a friend in Brother Anthony. Countless young monks, students, and visitors to the Abbey experienced his warm smile, and often an opportunity to help with work in the gardens. He was not afraid to admit he needed your prayers, and he showed his appreciation for them.

In a beautiful interview with Br. Anthony in Kansas Monks magazine on the occasion of his 60th anniversary of vows in 2013, he said: “You can see how the Holy Spirit is growing holiness in you over time just as He is growing tree after tree from tiny seeds.”

Brother Anthony was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Nellie, his brother, Carl (Frances), his sisters, Mary Alice, Sr. Mary Emaline, R.S.M., Sr. Fausta, R.S.M., Emily Sander (Ray), Irene Clark (Leo), Joan Kurtz (Ronald), and Martha Junker  (Joseph). He is survived by the monks of the Abbey, nieces and nephews, and numerous friends whose lives he touched.

Vespers for the Dead, followed by visitation, will be prayed on Monday, January 21, at 7:00 p.m. in St. Benedict's Abbey Church.  The Mass of Christian Burial for Brother Anthony will be celebrated in St. Benedict’s Abbey Church on Tuesday, January 22, at 10:30 a.m., with interment following in the Abbey cemetery.

Memorials in honor of Brother Anthony may made here
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Click here to read the article from Br. Tony’s 60th anniversary of profession

Abbot James Albers, O.S.B. and the monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey