October 15, 2021

Benedictine Father Justin DuVall was former Saint Meinrad archabbot

By Sean Gallagher

Benedictine Father Justin DuVallBenedictine Father Justin DuVall, who served as archabbot of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad from 2004-16, died in the monastery’s infirmary on Oct. 5 after a short battle with cancer. He was 70.

The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Oct. 9 at the Archabbey Church of Our Lady of Einsiedeln. Burial followed in the Archabbey Cemetery.

Benedictine Archabbot Kurt Stasiak, who succeeded Father Justin in leadership of the monastery, reflected in an interview with The Criterion on the legacy of his friend and confrere of several decades who entered the monastic community the year before he did.

“His motto as archabbot said a lot about his contributions: Grace, mercy, peace,” said Archabbot Kurt. “Certainly, Justin’s work was an instrument of grace for us in many ways. He was a man of mercy and he was a man of peace.

“For him, that was not just something to print on his stationery or to put on his coat of arms. It was a way of life.”

Archabbot Kurt also spoke about Father Justin’s memorable preaching.

“He treasured words, so he did not waste many,” Archabbot Kurt said. “They were well-chosen, precise, appropriate and memorable.”

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson was a seminarian at Saint Meinrad in the 1980s when Father Justin was second in leadership in the monastery as its prior. After Father Justin was elected archabbot, Archbishop Thompson was a visiting professor of canon law at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology. Most recently, the two were connected as Father Justin served as vice rector of the archdiocesan-sponsored Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis.

“Father Justin was a very faithful, humble and intelligent monk and priest,” Archbishop Thompson said. “He provided great support, stability and guidance for the monastery and School of Theology. He was a gifted homilist, teacher, spiritual director and formator. In a sense, he did all things well.”

Archbishop Thompson also appreciated the personal qualities that Father Justin brought to the many leadership roles he carried out through the years.

“Father Justin exuded a very quiet, gentle and unassuming manner,” Archbishop Thompson said. “He certainly did not seek the spotlight, but was ready and able to assume whatever leadership role that he was charged to carry out.

“His death is a great loss beyond that of Saint Meinrad Archabbey and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Father Justin impacted lives of seminarians, priests, religious and laity throughout the United States.”

Father Joseph Moriarty, rector of Bishop Bruté, appreciated serving with Father Justin at his side, describing him as “humble, quiet and strong, a faithful monk, good leader and excellent listener.”

“He was a good vice rector, appropriately discreet, stable, with lots of wisdom,” said Father Moriarty. “I really valued his experience as a priest and leader, but particularly as a man who had worked in formation for so many years.”

Timothy Martin DuVall was born on July 7, 1951, in Toledo, Ohio, to Arnold and Mary Jane DuVall. When his mother died when he was 3, he was raised by his father and stepmother, Nancy Luttenberger.

After attending Holy Spirit High School Seminary in Toledo, he enrolled at Saint Meinrad College in 1969, graduating in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in French.

Invested as a novice at Saint Meinrad Archabbey in 1973, he professed temporary vows on Aug. 24, 1974, receiving the religious name of Justin at that time, and solemn vows on Aug. 24, 1977.

Father Justin earned a master of divinity degree at Saint Meinrad School of Theology in 1978 and was ordained a priest on April 30, 1978.

Following his ordination, Father Justin studied library science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., earning a master’s degree in the field.

Assignments in the monastery after his ordination included serving as full-time assistant librarian at Saint Meinrad Archabbey Library from 1979-84 and part time for 11 years; liturgical master of ceremonies, assistant novice and junior master; and chairman of the monastery’s Liturgical Advisory Committee, a member of its Archabbey Council, Strategic Planning Committee and as a commuting chaplain for the Benedictine Sisters of Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Ind., in the Evansville Diocese.

In 1984, Father Justin was appointed prior by then-Archabbot Timothy Sweeney and served as second in leadership in the monastery until 1995.

That year, following the election of Benedictine Father Lambert Reilly as archabbot, Father Justin was appointed a formation dean in the School of Theology. The following year, he became its provost and vice rector, serving in these positions for the next eight years.

On Dec. 31, 2004, Father Justin was elected the ninth abbot and sixth archabbot of Saint Meinrad Archabbey. He received his abbatial blessing from then-Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein, who had been a confrere of Father Justin in the monastery.

During his tenure as archabbot, Father Justin oversaw extensive renovations to the infrastructure of the monastery, which included an addition to the infirmary and the installation of a geothermal heating/cooling system. He also led the final 18 months of the archabbey’s largest-ever capital campaign, which raised nearly $43 million for renovations, endowments and operating expenses.

Following his resignation as archabbot in 2016, he served as vice rector of Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis until earlier this year. In May, he was appointed as the monastery’s novice and junior master.

His diagnosis of pancreatic and liver cancer in August cut short this ministry.

Memorial gifts may be sent to Saint Meinrad Archabbey, 200 Hill Drive, St. Meinrad, IN 47577. †

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