Saint Martin's University to host memorial services for Father David Prebula
October 6, 2009
Lacey, Washington – Father David Prebula of St.
Martin's Abbey passed away on Sunday, October 4. The Saint Martin's
community will gather in the Abbey Church for a vigil service on
Thursday, October 8 at 7 p.m. The funeral mass, also held in the Abbey
Church, will be on Friday, October 9 at 1:30 p.m., followed by a
procession to the Abbey Cemetery for the committal rite and burial.
Father David, a monk of Saint Martin’s Abbey for
more than seventy years, served his community in many capacities. He was
socius to the novices, subprior, secretary to the Abbot’s Council and,
for many years, was infirmarian for both the monks and the students. He
was twice prefect at Saint Martin’s High School, and taught in both the
high school and college: biology, physiography, zoology, German,
economic geography, religion, speech, and science teaching in secondary
school. Between 1949 and 1977 Father David enrolled in summer programs
at the University of Washington, the University of California at
Berkeley, Seattle University and Portand State University, among others.
Born William George Prebula in Tacoma on June 19,
1918, Father David's life-long connection with the Saint Martin’s
Benedictines began with his baptism by the Reverend Justin Welz, O.S.B.,
at the Church of the Visitation. He is a graduate of both Saint Martin’s
High School and Saint Martin’s College. In 1940, he entered Mt. Angel
Seminary in Oregon to begin theological studies that would lead to the
priesthood. In 1944, he was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop
Gerald Shaughnessy at St. James Cathedral in Seattle. Father David
celebrated his first solemn Mass the next day at his home parish of the
Church of the Visitation, Tacoma. Father Anthony Hack, O.S.B., delivered
the occasional sermon. He later served in Port Angeles, Wilkeson,
Snoqualmie, Tacoma and Yakima. Beginning in 1979, he was auxiliary
chaplain at Madigan Hospital and beginning in 1983, he was Catholic
Chaplain at the Veteran’s Army Medical Center in American Lake.
"Father David had a fine intellect and an inquiring
mind. He was a kind spiritual man with a ready sense of humor and an
infectious laugh," said Abbot Neal Roth. "Father David was a good priest
and respected counselor, one who never hesitated when he was called upon
to exercise his priestly ministry."
Saint Martin’s University is an independent
four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 380-acre
wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic
Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine
colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only
one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares
students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate
programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering.
Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 student from many ethnic and religious
backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its five extension
campuses located at Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base,
Olympic College, Centralia College, and Tacoma Community College.
For additional information:
Genevieve Canceko Chan
Director of Communications & Marketing
Saint Martin's University