Please pray for Fr. Kevin Seasoltz

Please pray for Fr. R. Kevin Seasoltz, OSB who is now in hospice care at Saint John’s Abbey. Father Kevin has been an important scholarly and pastoral voice for liturgical renewal for many years, especially in his academic positions at Saint John’s University / School of Theology•Seminary and Catholic University of America, and in his role as editor of Worship magaine. Abbot John Klassen anointed Fr. Kevin Tuesday afternoon with about 45 of us monks present. May our prayers go with Fr. Kevin in his paschal journey.

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  1. I will attend noon Mass soon and will pray for Fr. Seasoltz. I am glad that the community participated in the anointing. I have always thought that the dying were given “last rites” privately by a priest softly reading from the ritual. I see now that death is not supposed to be a private rite shrouded in secrecy and fear, but an anointment of thankfulness and even joyful expectation.

    1. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #2:
      Indeed. Well said. A family friend died earlier this month. While my mother and I were visiting her, her partner told us, “We often hear that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it also takes a village to help a person die.” That’s such a beautiful way to imagine the process of dying.

  2. Thank you for posting Fr. Kevin’s health status.
    He has been a friend and mentor ever since the late 1960’s. When I phoned him in October, he talked about some medical progress as well as his “big comfortable chair” he enjoyed. The Sisters of our Orlando, FL diocese prayed for him during our January Retreat. Fr. Kevin has always been a “priestly” monk, humble, holy, and always kind, compassionate, and generous in sharing his wealth of knowledge, a truly prayerful man. May his big, comfortable, chair full of graces and prayers, carry him to heaven.
    He will certainly be missed here on earth! God be with him and all the monks at St. John’s Abbey.

  3. I met Fr. Seasoltz in August 1967 when he led a retreat at the novitiate of the Brothers of the Christian Schools near Washington, DC. The retreat’s theme was the Paschal Mystery, and he used Margery Williams’s children’s book The Velveteen Rabbit to illustrate the Christian perspective on death. I’ve never forgotten that retreat, Fr. Kevin’s wisdom, and the beautiful liturgies he presided over during that week.

    My prayers are joined with those of many others as Fr. Kevin takes the final steps of the journey to becoming Real.

  4. I never had a class with Fr. Kevin, but I met him for the first and only time at my graduation banquet in the Great Hall at SJU. He was so kind and encouraging to me then and most of all, humble. “Hi, I’m Kevin,” he simply said. I was floored once I realized who this “Kevin” was.

    Jordan [comment #2], the monks at Saint John’s live an amazing public witness to the paschal mystery in all parts of their communal life, including the illness, dying, and death of one of its confreres. One is transformed simply by witnessing the many and gradual ways and rituals in which they say goodbye to their brother.

    Prayers for a peaceful passover for Fr. Kevin.

  5. As one of many former students who have enjoyed being in the presence of his broad-ranging intellect and his extraordinarily kind and gentle nature, I’ll be offering my prayers as well for Fr. Kevin and for the whole community at St. John’s.

  6. Kevin was one of my professors my first year of grad school at St. John’s. He was brilliant, witty, insightful, and when he lectured, you could see the outlines forming perfectly in the air around him. I remember thinking that if all the the professors at St. John’s were like this, grad school was going to be an amazing ride.

  7. I have had the privilege of working with Fr. Kevin for so many years on the Worship board, and count it a joy to have come to know him in community at Saint John’s. I join my prayers with so very many around the world for his comfort and strength on this journey. He has been a true Benedictine gift to us all. Under the Mercy,

  8. Thank you for posting the update, Anthony. I have such fond memories of Fr. Kevin. He will always be one of my greatest inspirations and teachers.

  9. He will be in my prayers, and will remain in my syllabi for years to come.

    He once wrote:

    This image of God as self-sacrificing, as interpersonal communion rather than as a ruling solitary monarch provides us with a model whereby we reject relations of domination and subordination on the grounds of race, sex or class and enter into relationships of equality in difference. We know of course that our human frailty ensures us that such relationships will only be partially achieved in our lifetime, but we are inspired to hope for a future life where indeed there will be neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female.

    God bless you, Fr. Kevin, on your journey into that blessed communion.

  10. It was my privilege to be an early liturgy student of Kevin’s at Catholic University and to have remained a life-long friend. We who have known him personally will miss him greatly – as will regular readers of Worship. As a Benedictine community we now await with him the completion of his movement into the fullness of the mystery of Christ.

  11. My prayers are with Fr. Kevin and with the community, Fr. Anthony. During my work, I often find myself returning to things that Fr. Kevin taught us in Sacraments and Worship. I will take some time in the coming days to return to my notes from that class.

    May he know peace.

  12. Thank you so much for posting this. Fr. Kevin was one of my favorite professors during my time at the SOT. Last summer, I attended a conference at St. John’s and was accompanied by my husband and 3 month old daughter. We had lunch with him, and I will never forget how gentle and affectionate he was with our Emma. God bless him.

  13. Kevin has been very kind to me, far kinder than I deserve.

    Go forth, Christian soul, in the name of the Father, who created you, in the name of Jesus Christ, who redeemed you, in the power of the Holy Spirit, who strengthens you. Go forth, faithful Christian.

  14. Thank you for this news, Anthony. I am confident he will be well loved and prayed into paradise. He has had a huge influence on my work and I will always be deeply grateful.

  15. I was privileged in my younger years to be a founder of the M.A. in Liturgical Studies Program at CUA along with Kevin and Fred McManus. Kevin was a great gift in my life. I cannot tell you how much I owe him intellectually and spiritually.

    1. @Gerard Austin, O.P. – comment #23:
      As the product and beneficiary of the MA in Liturgical Studies at CUA (in my younger years as well) I fondly remember and acknowledge the debt, intellectual and spiritual, that I owe to mentors like Kevin Seasoltz, Gerry Austin, and Mary Collins (and a host of other teachers and colleagues). May Kevin know peace and comfort on his journey, and light eternal at its completion.

  16. I’m sitting here in tears, having just heard the news. Fr. Kevin’s Eucharist class was like a participation in Eucharist itself. I remember walking to my apartment in Emmaus after class each day, feeling fed, feeling like we were so fortunate to be there, and having the sense that we were in the presence of greatness. I can’t emphasize enough how his Eucharistic theology has shaped me. Mike and I send our love.

  17. Fr. Kevin will be in my prayers here in Austin, TX. It was always a blessing to be around him while doing my summer studies at St. John’s

  18. Thank you for inviting us to journey with Fr. Kevin at this moment. He was the soul of graciousness and totally unassuming. May his passing be peaceful and pain-free. I join you in prayer.

  19. Kevin Seasoltz and I have not always seen eye to eye, but at this point in time that matters little. I join my prayers with everyone else’s that Kevin’s transitus may be peaceful and pain-free.

  20. Anthony, thanks for the information about Kevin.
    What a wonderful, inspiring teacher. I still quote him often. Kevin fired me up with his interdisciplinary approach to theology. He was demanding–I learned something!
    Peace be with him!

  21. I will enter Kevin’s name in my book of those I pray for. I met Kevin at the Tampa 2000 meeting of the North American Academy of Liturgy. He was exceptionally gracious in making me feel welcome in the Liturgical Theology seminar.

  22. I do not know anything I can add to the comments above. I have known Kevin since ‘before the Council’ and one of my annual highlights in recent years has been seeing him at the NAAL. I will join everyone else in prayers for him as he approaches the fulfillment of his monastic vocation. The Lord be with him!

  23. Fr. Kevin is perhaps the most brilliant man I ever had the pleasure to meet. He certainly is the professor who has had the most impact on me, both intellectually and spiritually. My prayers and best thoughts are with him and the St. John’s community. This ultimate gentleman has been an inspiration to me and many others as a man, a monk, and a fellow Christian. God continue to bless you, Fr. Kevin!

  24. Though I had known from Kevin himself that he was under treatment for cancer, I was sorry to learn how seriously ill he is. He has been a valued colleague and friend. I join with the community in prayer

    David Power, OMI

  25. I have known Kevin Seasoltz since the mid 1960s when he was teaching at Catholic University in Washington, DC, and I have followed his distinguished career since then. We have all been blessed by his scholarship and his leadership in liturgical worship. I pray that God will be with him in his journey through the mystery of death.

  26. Fr Kevin was one of my favourite professors during my time at St John’s. Always gracious and always kind. A giant intellect and an even greater ‘man of prayer.’ May the angels soon lead you into Paradise …… May you see the face of God …. and truly Live!! Blessings and Prayers from Aotearoa, New Zealand.

  27. Anthony, please assure Kevin of our prayers here in Australia. He is such a dear man and I know, much beloved in your community. Our prayers are with you all.
    Easter blessings

  28. Fr Kevin was a wonderful man and an inspiring Benedictine. His contribution to the liturgical and monastic worlds is immense. He was particularly kind to overseas students at CUA and St Johns’ and took their interests to heart. One can’t help thinking that recent developments in liturgical reform and renewal were not easy for liturgical scholars of his calibre and generation who devoted such a substantial part of their lives to liturgical scholarship.
    Religious life clearly brought out the best in his life and work.
    May he rest in God’s care.

  29. I was one of the first graduates with a Masters of Theology in Liturgical Studies from Catholic Universaity. Kevin and Gerry Austin inspired me with a passion for the liturgy. Such heady days after Vatican II! When I was on sabbatical at St. John’s in 1999-2000, I revisited Kevin’s Eucharist course and anything else he taught that year. Once a month we had a lunch visit. What a liturgical abba! May he enjoy the fullness of eternal life.

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