Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church


Fr. Rupert Ostdick, OSB, dies January 14

January 14, 2017

Fr_Rupert_Ostdick.jpgFr. Rupert Ostdick, 95, a monk and priest of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN, died at 5 a.m. on January 14, 2017, at the monastery.

He was a jubilarian of profession and priesthood, and a participant in the Rush Religious Study on Aging and Alzheimer's. Fr. Rupert was born in Elgin, IL, on November 14, 1921, and was given the name Howard Otto at his baptism.

Surviving are a brother, Bruce Ostdick (Florence), Elgin, IL; and four sisters, Marjorie Banker and Mary Burnell (Charles), both of Elgin; Sister Patricia Ostdick, Chicago, IL; and Geraldine Mistretta (Vincent) of Carpentersville, IL.

Fr. Rupert came to Saint Meinrad in 1939 and enrolled in Saint Meinrad College, earning a bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1943. He was invested as a novice on August 5, 1943. He professed his simple vows on August 10, 1944, and his solemn vows three years later. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 18, 1948.

Fr. Rupert served in various leadership positions at Saint Meinrad, including 31 years as treasurer. During the last seven years of that work, he also assumed the duties of business manager.

Concurrent with these full-time responsibilities, he served as assistant spiritual director in Saint Meinrad College from 1959-63 and as spiritual director from 1963-64. In the late 1970s, he also served as publisher of the Abbey Press and acting general manager. He was appointed general manager of the Abbey Press in 1979, and held this position through 1991.

Fr. Rupert also was subprior (third in leadership) of the monastery from 1986 to 1996. Other assignments included novice master for clerics, pastoral liaison with the Archabbey's co-workers, an assistant in the Human Resources Department and a member of the Monastery Vocation Department.

For the past 16 years, he served as an extraordinary confessor for the seminary community. He also served on various committees, including the Abbot's Council, the Task Force for Saint Meinrad's monastery in 1980-82, and the Strategic Planning Committee.

The Office of the Dead will be prayed at 7 p.m. on Monday, January 16, in the Archabbey Church, followed by visitation until 9 p.m. Visitation on Tuesday 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.