Fr. Damian (Leo) Dietlein, O.S.B., is from Braddock, ND, being born June 16,
1932 to Peter and Regina (Heembrock) Dietlein. He completed high school at the Abbey
High School, and then went to St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN, for two years.
In 1951 he entered the novitiate at Assumption Abbey. After his novitiate year he
completed his seminary studies at St. John’s and then at Sant’ Anselmo, Rome, and
was ordained on July 25, 1957.
But ordination did not complete his educational endeavors. He returned to Rome
where he completed a Licentiate in theology (STL) in 1959. After that he began Scripture
studies at the Biblicum in Rome. He received a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture (SSL)
in June, 1961.
After completing these two degrees, Fr. Damian was prepared to teach in our
seminary. From the fall of 1961 to the spring of 1967, when our seminary closed,
he taught Scripture and Dogmatic Theology. During the summers of 1964 and 1965 he
taught Scripture to the Sisters at St. Teresa’s College, Winona, MN, and during the
summer of 1966 he studied German at Marylhurst College in Oregon.
When our seminary closed in 1967, he was appointed prior of the monastery and
taught in our school. But considering his talents and education it was thought that
his talents could be used better in a seminary. So in the fall of 1968 he traveled
to southern Indiana and began teaching Scripture at St. Meinrad School of Theology,
St. Meinrad, IN. He has been there ever since.
After forty years of teaching Scripture at St. Meinrad, Fr. Damian is regarded
as “the grand old man” of the faculty. Not only is he the senior member, he is considered
one of those unifying figures who help bind together the whole school, faculty and
students. Fr. Damian has long served as the advisor to the visiting monks in the
St. Meinrad Seminary, which currently includes our Bro. Anthony Baker.
Fr. Damian has had the opportunity to enjoy a number of sabbaticals that have
kept him current with Scriptural and theological developments. He is especially interested
in feminist theology. His return to Assumption Abbey each summer has enabled him
to maintain strong ties with his fellow monks. He helps out at work needing to be
done, especially baling the hay for our ranch and doing pastoral work on weekends.
Fr. Damian is someone who shows how to be an active and involved monk while
spending most of his time away from the monastery.
by Abbot Brian Wangler, O.S.B.
Fr. Francis dos Remedios, O.S.B.
25 Years Ordained
Fr. Francis (Claude) dos Remedios, O.S.B., will celebrate his silver jubilee
as a priest this year. Fr. Francis was born to Lazarus and Agnes Rose (Gansalves)
dos Remedios on October 10, 1928, in Bombay, India. He received his early education
with the Jesuits in India. During the 1950s he studied at the University of Bombay
and received a B.A. in economics in 1951 and a M.A. in English jurisprudence in 1954.
He worked at several accounting jobs in his home country.
In 1959 he migrated to the United States, where he earned a Masters in Business
Administration from the University of Washington in Seattle. He then spent many years
as a business man, traveling all over the world, and doing very well economically.
He spent some of those years in Alaska as the representative of a Seattle shipping
firm. For a person who grew up in one of the hottest cities in the world, he found
the Alaskan cold no problem.
In 1976 Fr. Francis responded to a call to religious life, and two years later,
in 1978, entered St. Mark’s Priory, South Union, KY. After his novitiate year, he
completed his seminary studies at St. Mark’s and was ordained to the priesthood on
December 8, 1982. After his ordination he did parish work in Kentucky. After St.
Mark’s Priory closed, Fr. Francis, along with Br. Basil Kirsch and Br. Juan Diego
Kryzanauskas, came to Assumption Abbey in March of 1988. His transfer to Assumption
Abbey was made final on August 15, 1988.
With his incorporation into the Abbey here in Richardton, Fr. Francis began
a series of pastoral assignments in the Diocese of Bismarck. From September 1988
to the summer of 1994 he served in a variety of parishes. These included the parishes
in Regent, Glenburn, Flasher, Stanley and Max. In October of 1994 he became pastor
of St. Ann’s Church in Hebron, ND. He remained in this position until he retired
on June 30, 2003, when he returned to the Abbey. Wherever he served, Fr. Francis
promoted among his parishioners a warm devotional life to the Blessed Virgin and
After his retirement, Fr. Francis helped out in the small jobs around the monastery.
For some time he brought Holy Communion to the Catholic residents of the Richardton
Health Center. As the years progressed, it became difficult for him to work. He is
now fully retired and enjoys the visits of some of his former parishioners. Fr. Francis
is dedicated to prayer and the monastic horarium. He is a good monk and priest.
Fr. Terrence Kardong, O.S.B.
50 Years Professed
Fr. Terrence (Gerald) Kardong, O.S.B., has spent the greater part of his 50
years in monastic life as a teacher and scholar. Fr. Terrence was born to Ralph and
Cecelia (Mundt) Kardong on October 22, 1936, in Minneapolis, MN, where he attended
St. Albert the Great school under the Dominican Sisters. He completed high school
and junior college here at Richardton, and in 1956 entered the novitiate. After making
his vows he completed his seminary studies and was ordained to the priesthood on
May 11, 1963. During the summers from 1962 through 1967 he attended the Catholic
University, Washington, D.C., where he received an MA in Latin and Greek.
Before he entered the world of monastic studies, Fr. Terrence spent some years
teaching Latin and other courses in our prep school and junior college. He lived
and taught at Mary College, Bismarck, during the period 1971-73. From 1975 to 1977
he was at Sant’ Anselmo, Rome, where he earned a Licentiate in Monastic Studies.
This gave him the background and footing to set out on his own in this field.
In February of 1982 he received an invitation to become editor of The American
Benedictine Review. He accepted, and is editor to this day. Having taught himself
French, Italian and German, he is well equipped for the scholarly world.
Fr. Terrence was a commuting part-time teacher at the University of Mary, Bismarck,
ND, from 1973-75 and again from 1977-82. In 1984 he spent six weeks lecturing on
monasticism in Australia. He was in the Philippines during February through May of
1990 lecturing and giving retreats. He did the same in 1992 in England. Fr. Terrence
traveled Nigeria in the spring of 1997 to lecture in the monasteries of that country.
As an indication of his many scholarly interests, he wrote a history of the
Diocese of Bismarck, ND, in 1985 for its 75th jubilee. He also wrote the centennial
history of the Diocese of Fargo in 1989. That same year he had a book titled Benedictines
published by Glazier. In 1989 he wrote the centennial history of the Catholic Church
on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.
However, his greatest and most important work is Benedict’s Rule: A Translation
and Commentary published by the Liturgical Press in May, 1996. Fr. Terrence continues
to write and often has articles of special interest published in monastic journals.
At this time, he has published 70 articles and 10 books, with several items
still to appear.
But Fr. Terrence’s life has not been spent exclusively in scholarship and editing.
He has been an active ecumenist since the 1960s, primarily through teaching in the
Lutheran Great Plains Institute of Theology from 1972 to its demise in 1995. In addition,
he has become an environmental activist through his participation in the Dakota Resource
Council since 1978. He has been a member of the DRC board about 15 times and is currently
the secretary of the group.
Fr. Terrence is a scholar and a regular monk. Thus he helps wash dishes and
pots and pans and joins in the nitty-gritty work of a monastery. Fr. Terrence is
a fine example of a scholar who also lives an ordinary monastic life.