“Come to their aid, O Saints of God; hasten to meet them angels of the Lord; taking up their souls, presenting them in the sight of the Most High. May they be received by Christ who has called them, and may the angels bring them into the bosom of Abraham”
-- Song of Farewell, Order of Christian Funerals
Dear Alumni and Friends of Saint Anselm College and Saint Anselm Abbey,
Shortly after the monastic community had celebrated daily Mass on Saturday, June 23rd, we received word that our confrere at Woodside Priory in California, Father Pius, had been called home to the Lord after his valiant struggle with the challenges of advanced age. Father Pius was 88 years old and had just celebrated 65 years of priesthood two days before. He entered the Benedictine Order at the abbey of Pannonhalma in his native Hungary and professed monastic vows in 1950. The Hungarian uprising of 1956 afforded Father Pius the opportunity to escape religious suppression by the communist government. Father Pius came to California where, in 1960, he joined the seven Hungarian monks who had founded Woodside Priory. Fr. Pius helped establish a college preparatory school in the Archdiocese of San Francisco and it was his vision and effort that gave birth to the joining of Woodside Priory to Saint Anselm Abbey in 1975.
Saddened by the news of his death, we still confidently proclaim that God has created Father Pius and each one of us for eternal life and that Jesus, the Son of God, by his own death and resurrection, has broken the chains of sin and death that bound humanity. Our community gathered in prayer that Saturday afternoon in the Abbey Church and recited the ancient prayer, Sub Venite, “Come to his aid, O saints of God; hasten to meet him angels of the Lord; taking up his soul, presenting it in the sight of the Most High...”. This prayer might be familiar to you as the song of farewell at Catholic funerals. Sung during the rite of final commendation as the priest incenses the coffin, it affirms our hope and trust in the paschal mystery, the saving passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
It is our farewell, an act of respect for one of our own, who goes before us and who shares our common destiny, resurrection on the last day. It is also an affirmation of our belief that the Church on earth is united with the Church in heaven in the one great communion of saints. Though separated from the living, our beloved dead are still at one with the community of believers on earth and benefit from our prayers and intercession as we benefit from their prayers and intercession for us before the face of God.
As is our custom, we are sending you, alumni and friends of Saint Anselm, the names of the deceased members of our monastic family for your prayerful remembrance during the month of November. We invite you to send us a list of those for whom you wish us to pray. Their names will be kept in the Abbey Church’s Blessed Sacrament Chapel throughout November.
Sincerely in the Lord,
Abbot Mark and the Monks of Saint Anselm Abbey
Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, with your saints forever, for you are merciful
-- From the Roman Missal
Names for Remembrance can be submitted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by downloading and mailing the form below.
Download November Remembrance Form (PDF/110KB)
Please mail in form to:
Saint Anselm Abbey
100 Saint Anselm Drive
Manchester, NH 03102