Father Alexander Edward Andrews, OSB, 79
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November 19, 1933-July 31, 2013
Father Alexander Charles Andrews, OSB, died on July 31, in the Saint Cloud Hospital. A vigil prayer service will be held on Friday, August 2, at 7:00 p.m. in the abbey church. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Father Alexander on Saturday, August 3, at 3:30 p.m. in Saint John's Abbey Church with interment in Saint John's Cemetery.
Edward Charles Andrews was born in Chicago, Illinois, on November 19, 1933, the youngest of eight children born to Leslie Joseph and Emily (Trayling) Andrews. Edward grew up in an Irish Catholic family in St. Aloysius Parish where he was baptized and confirmed. He attended Langland Elementary School in Chicago and graduated from high school at Lane Technical School in 1951. Edward went to the University of Illinois from 1951 until 1954 when he was drafted into the armed services. After his four years with the US Air Force, being discharged as a staff Sargent, he returned to the University of Illinois and completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1960.
He received a Master's of Arts degree in History in 1962 from Columbia University in New York City. He also spent a year at the University of California in Berkley taking classes in Russian history and culture.
Edward entered the novitiate at Saint John's Abbey in 1964. He was accepted and received the religious name Alexander professing first vows as a Benedictine monk on July 11, 1965. After vows, Alexander continued his priesthood studies at Saint John's Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood on May 31, 1969.
Interspersed with other teaching and assignments, Father Alexander began his teaching career in the Saint John's University History Department in 1966. He was known as an excellent teacher and knowledgeable in all things Russian. Each year he would throw away all his lecture notes from the previous year and begin anew, warning students as each course began that they were already way behind in their reading. Father Alexander chose not to seek a doctoral degree, preferring the rank of Lecturer in History. He retired from the classroom on June 1, 2000.
Father Alexander was a member of the chaplain team that served the Benedictine Sisters of Saint Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota, from 1993 to 2004, presiding at one of their Eucharistic liturgies each week. He was an excellent preacher with a prophetic edge to his message.
Father Alexander is survived by his niece, Nancy Szankowski and the community of Saint John's Abbey.
Published in the St. Cloud Times on Aug. 2, 2013