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Brother Basil

Brother Basil, OSB, died this morning at 5:00 am. He was filled with joy as he entered into a new life. He was a friend, a companion in the parish’s prayer life, and along with Michelle Heyne, OA, and I, a professed religious.

Michelle visited with him four times and I did that twice. We'd prayer the Office with him. He cried each time. He spoke about how it was so important to him to pray with others who understood and he'd note the presence of all those unseen others in the room with us.

On my last visit I left a card with him that included a picture of him at Evening Prayer (see bottom of page) and this from one of the early sisters in the Restoration of the Religious Life in Anglicanism.

We always had the example of the saints and martyrs put before us: the Gates of Gold and the City of the Lamb were always glittering before our eyes... There was a consciousness of God’s Saints actually around and about us, which moved and inspired us to do and to dare anything and everything. Mother Kate, SSM

At Morning Prayer today, I read 2 Corinthians 4:13 – 5:10, as appointed. I hadn’t looked at it in advance of going to the lectern. So, I hadn’t anticipated God’s tug upon my heart – “So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.”

After Morning Prayer I thought, “I want to post something about Basil.” That was met with, “The blog is about parish development – obey your own rules!” Then I knew.

Basil didn’t really have all that much interest in the knowledge and skills of parish development. Not his thing – or as we religious say, “Not his vocation or gift.”  He did read “Fill All Things: The Dynamics of Spirituality in the Parish Church” when it was going through its final review. He was one of the smartest people I have known. His comments were insightful and useful.

Brother Basil had served on the vestry, sat on various parish committees, sung in the choir and served at the altar. A faithful parishioner. 

Love & Prayer 

Here’s what he brought to our parish’s development – love and prayer.

He loved his parish. It was home, his “house.” He prayed for it daily at the Office. He served it. He would even break his normal hesitation about entering into arenas of controversy and act to nudge people toward reconciliation. And his love for the parish and its people was returned. That was apparent this morning in the chapel.

Over the years he had provided much of the stability in the parish’s ability to have a public daily office. It was frequently just the two of us at Evening Prayer, especially on the bookend days. On Monday he’d officiate and I’d be the congregation. On Friday we’d reverse. 

Last month I sent him the e-newsletter from All Saints, Margaret Street. Fr. Alan Moses, the Vicar, had captured Basil’s stance perfectly –

When people come to a church like All Saints they may be impressed by architecture and iconography. These things may give them pause for thought: “What does all this mean?”  Just as important can be the impression they receive from the living icons; people using the building for its true purpose, as a place of prayer. People who through its life of worship are being built into a living temple. If we consider ourselves useless at evangelism, we should think again and recognize the power of that witness to Christ given by a community and individuals who pray.



Also see –

The Companions of Saint Luke’s

On Brother Basil – from the Order of the Ascension

Requiem Mass March 12, 2019