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Fr William L. Thompson
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Birth: Apr. 2, 1918
Weld County
Colorado, USA
Death: May 30, 2009
Atchison County
Kansas, USA

Father William Thompson, J.C.D.,
(April 2, 1918-May 30, 2009)

Father William died May 30, as the monks were praying Vigils for Pentecost. Father William had been fortified by the sacraments and the prayers of his brother monks.

Father William was born on April 2, 1918, in Eaton, CO, the son of the late William and Louis (Livers) Thompson. After attending grade school in Pueblo, CO, Father William entered the Abbey School in Canon City, CO, for his 8th grade year. He continued his studies at the Abbey school through his first two years of college.

After completing his novitiate, 1938-39, Father William professed his monastic vows as a monk of Holy Cross Abbey in Canon City, CO, on Aug. 31, 1939. He spent the next two years at St. Benedict's College in Atchison, KS, completing his college degree.

From 1941-1945, Father William completed his theological studies in preparation for the priesthood at the Holy Cross Abbey School of Theology. During his Deacon year he was Headmaster of the Abbey School in Canon City for several months, and also served during the war years as a football, basketball, and boxing coach at the Abbey School. He was ordained a priest on May 17, 1944. In the the 1946-47 academic year he was sent to Atchison, KS, where he taught philosophy at St. Benedict's and Mount St. Scholastica Colleges.

From 1948 until 1952 Father William studied Canon Law at Louvain in Belgium where he earned his Doctorate of Canon Law (J.C.D.) Upon returning to the Abbey he taught Canon Law in the Holy Cross School of Theology from 1952-1964. In 1956 he had a canonical book published by the St. Meinrad Press entitled Quasi-Domicile.

In addition to his work as a Canon lawyer, philosophy, theology, and Latin teacher, Father William served faithfully as Prior, Procurator, Director of Clerics, Vocation Director, teacher, and coach, He also served in parishes in Caņon City, Pueblo, and Boulder. In the latter years of his time in Caņon City he faithfully maintained the Abbey museum at Holy Cross.

With the closing of Holy Cross Abbey, Father William requested to be accepted as a member of St. Benedict's Abbey. On March 21, 2006, the Feast of Saint Benedict, Abbot Barnabas officially decreed that Father William's stability was transferred to St. Benedict's Abbey. His years here, though brief, have taught us well how to appreciate the daily life in the monastery. His pleasant smile, and cheerful way will leave a lasting mark.

The following is an excerpt from Abbot Barnabas Senecal's homily from the Funeral Mass of Father William Thompson.

Father William probably thought a lot about what heaven would be like. He might have considered heaven to be a great Indian powwow, a place of dance and ritual, enjoyed by thousands, a gathering of men and women very proud of their heritage...

He might have seen it as a convention of canon lawyers, their profession no longer needed in the presence of the Lord. They helped many of the faithful to lead good lives and would enjoy meeting these folks.

Father William could well have imagined heaven to be a chapter meeting of monks, men who had been bound together in community through a love of teaching and preaching...

Father William might have thought about heaven in terms of gathering around him all those who came to Holy Cross in the summer time to participate in the Biblical-Liturgical Institutes that he planned and so enjoyed...

Whatever he thought about heaven, I think he was ready to go there last Saturday. Brother John called mid-afternoon saying he thought Father William ought to be anointed. I said, "Do you mean after Vespers?" "No, I mean now." Five monks gathered for the anointing. As we finished, Father William raised his left arm and gave a brief wave. It was a good-bye. He was soon to be on his way. It was a gentle gesture, from a man whose manner was always gentle.

Brother Jeremy began his homily last Sunday with this word: "Smile." It was his way of blending together what he had heard through the day on Saturday, the day of his ordination to the diaconate, and news of the death of Father William. What he most remembered and valued about Father William was his smile. It was Father William's way of relating to us, practically every day. His gentleness came through in that smile...
Saint Benedicts Abbey Cemetery
Atchison County
Kansas, USA
Created by: Sue
Record added: Apr 11, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 50958661
Fr William L. Thompson
Added by: Sue
Fr William L. Thompson
Added by: Sue
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- Sue
 Added: Sep. 17, 2016
Rest In Peace, Father William!
- Eman Bonnici
 Added: Aug. 17, 2011
Rest in peace Father.
- Sue
 Added: Apr. 11, 2010

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