Former St. Procopius Abbey abbot remembered as educator and spiritual leader

A funeral Mass is set for Wednesday morning at St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle for Abbot Hugh Anderson.

Anderson, the abbey's eighth abbot, died Wednesday at Edward Hospital in Naperville after contracting pneumonia. He was 85.

St. Procopius officials described him a devoted gardener, spiritual leader and educator.

Anderson grew up in the farming community of downstate Ohio, Illinois. He came to St. Procopius after graduating from high school and took his vows as a monk in 1959. He was ordained in 1965 and later obtained a masters of science degree in educational administration from Indiana University in Bloomington.

After returning to the Lisle abbey, he was appointed as the first assistant principal at Benet Academy.

Anderson's "agreeable personality, homespun humor, and more than a dash of prudent wisdom did much to set the school on the road to success," St. Procopius officials said. He later served as assistant pastor at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Lisle in the early 1980s.

"On April 9, 1985, somewhat to his amazement, he was chosen as the eighth abbot of St. Procopius. In his new role, Abbot Hugh labored to help his confreres continue the post-conciliar renewal as well as adapt to the growth of its educational work at a time when vocations to the monastery were diminishing," officials said.

Anderson remained as abbot until his resignation in 2002. After a sabbatical, he led the campus ministry at Benedictine University and tended the abbey's garden, "where he could indulge his lifelong love of farming."

Other honors included serving as president of Benet Academy.

"Though a variety of aches and pains troubled him as he moved into his mid-80s, he remained active in his assignment and in community life," officials said.

The funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Procopius, 5601 College Road, Lisle.

'The perfect fit' Benedictine University to welcome new president

'He speaks from the heart'

Hugh Anderson
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.