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Brother Anthony Vorwerk
Arensberg-Pruett Funeral Home in Atchison
Atchison, KS

Brother Anthony Vorwerk, 87, a monk of St. Benedict’ Abbey in Atchison, Kansas, died peacefully on Thursday, January 17, 2019 fortified by the Sacraments of the Church, having received the Apostolic Pardon.

Leo Vorwerk was born on January 25, 1931, the son of Lawrence and Nelli née Haag in Dodgeville, Iowa. He graduated from Burlington Catholic High School in 1951. Upon entering religious life he requested Anthony as his monastic name. He said he often prayed to St. Anthony of Padua to “help him find stuff.” Brother Anthony professed his vows as a monk of St. Benedict’s Abbey on December 27, 1953.

Over the years he worked at the Abbey Student Press from 1951-1953; as a groundskeeper for St. Benedict’s College from 1953-1971; as porter of the Abbey from 1987-2010; and as a groundskeeper at the Abbey from 1957-2010. Even with his retirement, he continued to have an interest in what was going on around the Abbey and college campus, often spending time in the workshop making various crafts from wood.

As a young man Brother Anthony was a gifted athlete, playing baseball, basketball and football. He used that energy over his years as a monk to cultivate friendships. It made no difference whether one was rich or poor, man or woman, or how intelligent one was, all found a friend in Brother Anthony. Countless young monks, students, and visitors to the Abbey experienced his warm smile, and often an opportunity to help with work in the gardens. He was not afraid to admit he needed your prayers, and he showed his appreciation for them.

In a beautiful interview with Br. Anthony in Kansas Monks magazine on the occasion of his 60th anniversary of vows in 2013, he said: “You can see how the Holy Spirit is growing holiness in you over time just as He is growing tree after tree from tiny seeds.”

Brother Anthony was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Nellie, his brother, Carl (Frances), his sisters, Mary Alice, Sr. Mary Emaline, R.S.M., Sr. Fausta, R.S.M., Emily Sander (Ray), Irene Clark (Leo), Joan Kurtz (Ronald), and Martha Junker (Joseph). He is survived by the monks of the Abbey, nieces and nephews, and numerous friends whose lives he touched.

Vespers for the Dead, followed by visitation, will be prayed on Monday, January 21, at 7:00 p.m. in St. Benedict's Abbey Church.  The Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated in St. Benedict’s Abbey Church on Tuesday, January 22, at 10:30 a.m., with interment following in the Abbey cemetery. Memorials in honor of Brother Anthony may be sent to St. Benedict’s Abbey, 1020 N. Second St., Atchison, KS 66002. The Arensberg-Pruett Funeral Home has been entrusted with final arrangements.

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