Saint Martin’s to host memorial services for Father Terence Wager

March 2, 2010

Lacey, Washington – Father Terence Wager of St. Martin’s Abbey passed away on Monday, February 22, following a long bout with cancer. The Saint Martin’s community will gather for his funeral mass at St. Columban in Yelm, with Archbishop Alexander Brunett as celebrant, on Friday, March 5 at 10 a.m., followed by a vigil service in St. Martin’s Abbey Church in Lacey at 7 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Abbey Church on Saturday, March 6 at 1:30 p.m., followed by a procession to the Abbey Cemetery for the burial.

During his more than fifty years as a Benedictine monk of St. Martin’s Abbey, Father Terence served his community in many ways. He served as vice principal of Saint Martin’s High School from 1964-1970, and as principal from 1972-1974. At the same time, he taught Latin, religion, and sociology. In the late 1970s, Father Terence was director of student teachers and later director of residence at Saint Martin’s College. He also served at various times as a member of the Abbey’s Senior Council and Board of Directors, as well as the College’s Board of Trustees.

Born Terence J. Wager on July 1, 1936 in Portland, Oregon, Father Terence earned a bachelor’s degree from Saint Martin’s College in 1960 and a master’s degree in education and secondary administration from St. Louis University in 1972. He also studied theology at Mt. Angel Abbey Seminary in St. Benedict, Oregon from 1960-1964. In 1958, he was invested as a novice by Abbot Raphael Heider, O.S.B., then abbot of St. Martin’s Abbey. In 1964, he was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Thomas A. Connolly at St. James Cathedral in Seattle and celebrated his first Mass the next day at St. Philip Neri Church in Portland, Oregon.

In 1978, Father Terence began the ministry to which he would devote the rest of his life, that of parish priest. After serving as an assistant at Holy Rosary and then pastor of Visitation, he was assigned as pastor of St. Columban in Yelm in 1984. It was under his leadership that the present church and rectory were constructed. In late 2009, failing health forced him to resign as pastor of St. Columban and of St. Peter Mission in Tenino.

An enthusiastic gardener as well as a fine cook, Father Terence was an affable host. His love of art and music led him to the organ and the piano, and he spent many hours working on these two instruments. Father Terence is greatly missed by his confreres and family, by his former students, by his parishioners, past and present, and by his many friends.

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 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its five extension campuses located at Joint Base Fort Lewis-McChord, Everett College, Centralia College, and Tacoma Community College.

For additional information:

Genevieve Canceko Chan
Director of communications & marketing
Saint Martin’s University