Benedictines: October 2009 Archives

Father John Oetgen, OSB, RIP

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Fr John Oetgen.jpg
On 10 October 2009, Father John Oetgen, OSB, PhD, 85, died in the monastery of his monastic profession, Belmont Abbey (Mary, Help of Christians), Belmont, North Carolina. He was 65 years professed of monastic vows and 58 years a priest. Abbot Placid Solari celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial for Father John on Tuesday, 13 October in the Basilica of Mary, Help of Christians; he was buried in the abbey cemetery.

O God, Who did raise Your Servant Father John to the dignity of priest in the apostolic priesthood, grant, we beseech You, that he may be joined in the fellowship with Your Apostles forevermore.

I was speaking with one of the monks of Belmont Abbey two weeks ago, shortly before Father John's death, and I realized intuitively that the end was near for a dear priest, monk and acquaintance. I got to know Father John on my visits to Belmont and when I had the privilege to being there for two months this past spring I had the opportunity to get to know him better. Though diminished in body he was not frail in mind or spirit. His presence, though strained because of his physical weakness was a significant example to me of placing trust in the Lord. One good connection I had with Father John was caring for his Saint Francis garden: I was elated when he came to visit me there on his way back from the doctor's.

An appreciative interview with Father John published in the Spring of 2008 in Crossroads, the Belmont Abbey College magazine which gives a sense of who Father John was and why.

In February 2009, Abbot Placid gave him the Sacrament of Anointing, which I know he did several times later, in the company of the monastic community. My thoughts were posted here.

The Oblates of Belmont Abbey posted this obit for Father John.
The Gaston Gazette posted this obit for Father John.

May Father John Oetgen's memory be eternal.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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This page is a archive of entries in the Benedictines category from October 2009.

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