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