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
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