Tributes Paid To Father Theophile

FUNERAL services for Father Theophile Brown, O.S.B., former Prior of St Augustine's Monastery and teacher at St Augustine's College, were held Friday morning at Mary Mother of the Church Benedictine Abbey, in Richmond, Virginia. Interment followed in the church cemetery. Fr Theophile, 86, died on Christmas eve after suffering for several months with tongue and throat cancer. Born on August 24, 1925 in Richmond, Va., the third son of Thomas and Sarah Brown, he is survived by an older brother, and several nieces, nephews and cousins. On July 11, 1950, Father Theophile professed his first vows at St John's Monastery, Collegeville, Minnesota, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 1956. He was the first Afro-American priest to be ordained from the Diocese of Richmond. After his ordination he was assigned to St Augustine's Monastery in Nassau where he was prior for 10 years. He also taught at St Augustine's College and assisted at parishes in Nassau for 38 years. In 1994 he transferred to Mary Mother of the Church Abbey in Richmond to be nearer his family. He served his new community as Prior and later as novice master. He was spiritual director to the Benedictine Oblates. He also taught French at Benedictine College Preparatory School. Father Theophile was an accomplished musician and played the organ at the liturgy at the Abbey. He also assisted in celebrating weekend Mass at various parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and served many years as chaplain of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Father Theophile was very active in his monastic community until three months before his death. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 10 am Friday, December 30, at Mary Mother of the Church Benedictine Abbey.


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