August 17, 2007

Three Saint Meinrad monks celebrate jubilees of profession

On July 29, the Benedictine community of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad celebrated the 60th jubilee of monastic profession of Father Gavin Barnes, and the 50th jubilee of monastic profession of Fathers Stephen Snoich and Germain Swisshelm.

Father Gavin was born on Nov. 15, 1927, in Bedford. He professed his vows on Aug. 1, 1947, and was ordained on May 3, 1952.

After completing his studies at Saint Meinrad, he earned a license in sacred theology at Sant’ Anselmo in Rome and a master’s degree in speech at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Father Gavin taught speech and drama for 42 years at the former Saint Meinrad College. He was dean of students from 1960-62 and assistant to the novice/junior master for four years.

For several years, he served as chair of Saint Meinrad’s building committee.

Following his teaching career, Father Gavin was assigned as senior adjunct priest for St. Meinrad Parish in St. Meinrad, St. Boniface Parish in Fulda and St. Martin of Tours Parish in Siberia.

He resides at the monastery and conducts lector workshops for the “One Bread, One Cup” high school youth liturgical conferences hosted by Saint Meinrad each summer.

Father Gavin earned the Spencer County Arts Award in 2007 for his work in promoting the arts and supporting the effort to create the Lincoln State Park Amphitheatre.

Father Stephen was born on June 24, 1929, in Shenandoah, Pa. He professed his vows on April 7, 1957, and was ordained on March 12, 1972.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Saint Meinrad College and a master’s degree in divinity at Saint Meinrad School of Theology.

Father Stephen served as Saint Meinrad’s physical plant supervisor from 1957-62. During that time, he oversaw the construction of the water filtering plant and the Archabbey’s original Guest House as well as the renovation of the school’s recreation rooms.

From 1962-65, he supervised the construction of the Prince of Peace Abbey Retreat and Guest House in Oceanside, Calif.

Father Stephen completed his degrees between 1965 and 1973.

He served as laundry manager and was the monastery’s house prefect for four years.

From 1977-93, Father Stephen was associate pastor of St. Benedict Parish in Evansville, Ind.

He then served for three years as an assistant at the Archabbey Guest House.

In 1996, he was appointed spiritual liaison for Saint Meinrad’s co-workers and infirmary chaplain at Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Ind.

Father Stephen has served as pastor of St. Augusta Parish in Lake Village, Ind., since 2004.

Father Germain was born on April 6, 1934, in Orrville, Ohio. He professed his vows on Aug. 15, 1957, and was ordained on Sept. 25, 1960.

He earned bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and history at Saint Meinrad, and also did graduate studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, Oklahoma University in Norman, Okla., and San Marcos University in Lima, Peru.

From 1960-62, Father Germain taught at St. Placid Hall at Saint Meinrad.

In 1962, Father Germain was a founding member of Saint Meinrad’s mission in Huaraz, Peru, where he taught at the seminary and high school.

He also served as associate pastor of San Juan de Lurigancho Parish in Lima and as prior of Los Pinos for four years.

Since 1979, Father Germain has worked in the carpenter shop at the Archabbey. He also serves as custodian of Mass intentions. †

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