World's oldest Benedictine monk dies
May 01,2009 00:00 by UPI

ST. MEINRAD, Ind. -- Father Theodore Heck, known as the world's oldest Benedictine monk, died Friday at St. Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad, Ind. He was 108.

Heck, a native of Charlton, Iowa, died in the monastery's infirmary, the Evansville (Ind) Courier said.

Born Jan. 16, 1901, Heck was ordained to the priesthood May 21, 1929, and earned a Ph.D in education at The Catholic University of America in 1935.

For more than 50 years he taught in St. Meinrad's minor and major seminaries and held various administrative positions in the St. Meinrad schools, including the post of subprior, the third highest leader, for 17 years.

Heck was a founding member of the American Benedictine Academy, serving as its first president from 1947-1957. At age 70, he began 17 years of pastoral service as vicar of St. John Chrysostom Catholic Church in New Boston, Ind.

A funeral mass is scheduled for Saturday at the Archabbey Church.

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