Father Kevin Robert Seasoltz OSB, 82
Dec. 29, 1930-April 27, 2013
Father Kevin Seasoltz, OSB, died on April 27, at the Saint John's Abbey Retirement Center. A vigil prayer service will be held on May 1, at 7 p.m. in the abbey church. The Mass of Christian Burial will be on May 2 at 3:30 p.m. in Saint John's Abbey Church with interment in the abbey cemetery.
Robert Joseph Seasoltz was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, December 29, 1930, to Walter and Alice (Hackett) Seasoltz.
Robert earned a B.A. in 1952 and his Masters in Sacred Theology in 1956 at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. That same year, he was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. He earned a Licentiate in Canon Law in 1958 at the Lateran University, Rome, Italy.
Taking the monastic name of Kevin, Father Robert made his final profession in 1963 as a Benedictine monk at St. Anselm's Abbey in Washington, D.C.
In 1962 he earned a Doctorate in Canon Law (liturgical law) at The Catholic University of America and did postdoctoral studies at the University of Notre Dame
In 1962, Father Kevin joined the faculty of the School of Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. where in 1969 he was awarded tenure and taught until 1987. During this same era, beginning in early 1974, Father Kevin was a Fellow at the Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research, adjacent to the campus of Saint John's University, Collegeville, MN. Two years later, and until 1988, he was invited to teach in the Saint John's Summer School of Theology as adjunct. In 1987 he transferred his monastic stability to Saint John's Abbey, joined the faculty of the School of Theology and was later named the editor of Worship magazine, a premier publication of Saint John's Abbey.
From 1988 until 1992 he served as rector of Saint John's Seminary and at the same time he became a tenured professor in Saint John's School of Theology. He retired in 2008 and was named professor emeritus of theology.
Father Kevin's distinguished career was marked by visiting professorships at LaSalle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California; and Mount Angel Seminary, Mount Angel, Oregon.
Liturgy, aesthetics, church architecture, ministry, the sacraments, spirituality, religious life, and Canon Law were all areas of his research and writing. Some recent book titles reveal the breadth of his theological scholarship: A Sense of the Sacred: Theological Foundations of Christian Architecture and Art (Continuum, 2005); God's Gift Giving: In Christ and through the Spirit (Continuum, 2007); A Virtuous Church: Catholic Theology, Ethics, and Liturgy for the 21st Century (Orbis, 2012).
Father Kevin was eagerly sought out as a retreat director and was particularly popular among religious communities of sisters both in the U.S. and abroad.
His awards included the Michael Mathis Award in 2001 from the Notre Dame Center for Pastoral Liturgy, the Baraka Award in 2005 from the North American Academy of Liturgy, and the Frederick R. McManus Award in 2009 from the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions.
Father Kevin is survived by Dr. John Seasoltz, (brother), Sue Seasoltz, (niece) and Rebecca Bakanowski, (niece) and the community at Saint John's Abbey. Memorials in honor of Fr. Kevin may be directed to Saint John's Abbey Health and Retirement Fund.