Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

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Fr. Eric Lies, monk of Saint Meinrad, dies

January 31, 2012

Fr. Eric Lies, OSB, monk and priest of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN, died on January 30, 2012, in the monastery infirmary. He was 92.

Fr. Eric Lies, OSB, monk and priest of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN, died on January 30, 2012, in the monastery infirmary. He was 92. He was a jubilarian of profession and priesthood, and a participant in the Rush Religious Study on Aging and Alzheimer's.

Surviving are a brother, Donald, and a sister, Marian Probst, both of Aurora, IL; and several nieces and nephews.

Fr. Eric was born in Aurora, IL, on October 13, 1919, to Peter and Catherine (Besch) Lies, and was given the name Robert William at his baptism. He attended Marmion High School in Aurora, before enrolling in Saint Meinrad Seminary in 1933. He was invested as a novice in 1939, professed his simple vows on August 6, 1940, and was ordained to the priesthood on February 2, 1945.

After ordination, Fr. Eric taught geometry, literature, chant and elocution in Saint Meinrad Minor Seminary. In 1953, he earned a Master of Arts in English from The Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Continuing to teach in the Minor Seminary, he also taught homiletics in the Major Seminary for the next five years.

In 1950, midway through his 13 years of seminary teaching, Fr. Eric became the associate editor and art director of Grail Magazine. In 1958, he became the general manager of Abbey Press, a position he held for 10 years. In 1968, he began a 26-year assignment in the Saint Meinrad Development Office.

He served first as associate director of development and, in 1980, became the director of public relations until his retirement in 1994. During much of this time, he continued his work at Abbey Press by serving on the advisory board and as a consultant.

Fr. Eric also gave frequent retreats at the Archabbey Guest House and Retreat Center and developed his talent as a calligrapher. His arrangement of the popular poem "Footprints in the Sand" remains the best-selling product in the history of Abbey Press.

The Office of the Dead will be prayed on Thursday, February 2, 2012, at 7 p.m. in the Archabbey Church, followed by visitation until 9 p.m. Visitation on Friday will be from 8 to 9:45 a.m. in the Archabbey Church, followed by the funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in the Archabbey Cemetery. All times are Central Time.