Bro. Mark Edwin Carmer, O.S.B., died on March 21, 2004, the Feast of St. Benedict.
He was sitting in his favorite chair watching television, and quietly and peacefully
passed--in other words, he died as he had lived since he was a quiet, gentle man
of deep faith in God and goodness to others. He had been strengthened by the Sacraments
of the Dying.
Edwin Carmer was born April 5, 1910, in Minneapolis, MN, to David and Catherine (Cady)
Carmer. At a young age the family moved to Kidder County, North Dakota, to farm and
so for the first 45 years of his nearly 94 years Edwin was a farmer in the Tappen
area. He was a gentle, pious man who worked hard and prayed hard. These traits were
noticed by his pastor in Tappen, who saw in him a calling to religious life. After
his father had died and his sister, Helen, had moved to Minnesota, he came to Assumption
Abbey in February, 1956, to become a monk. He professed vows as a Benedictine monk
on September 8, 1957, receiving the name of Brother Mark.
Brother Mark, coming from a farm background, was accustomed to hard work coupled
with a vital prayer-life--as such he was a perfect Benedictine monk. One of the mottos
of the Benedictines is ""Ora et Labora'' (pray and work). Mark was a strong man adept
at many things and so in the monastery his talents were put to use on its farm and
in its various shops and in maintenance. For many years he managed the abbey's car
fleet, keeping its vehicles in good running order. Even after he retired and his
health was failing he could be seen out shoveling snow after a storm or out hoeing
the garden and pulling weeds in the summer heat.
In his final years, as his health continued to fail, he needed considerable care--that
was extended by his brothers in the monastery. Brother Elias Thienpont and Brother
Nicholas Erickson provided him with loving and personal care for many years so that
his final days were as full and pleasant as possible. The wake for Brother Mark was
held at 7 p.m. on March 24, with Fr. David as eulogist. The funeral was held the
next morning, with Abbot Patrick Moore presiding.