Brother Basil (Michael) KirschMass of Christian burial for Brother Basil (Michael) Kirsch, O.S.B., 68, Richardton, is 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, at the Assumption Abbey Church in Richardton.
Mass of Christian burial for Brother Basil (Michael) Kirsch, O.S.B., 68, Richardton, is 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, at the Assumption Abbey Church in Richardton. Burial will be in the Abbey Cemetery.
Visitation for Brother Basil is 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at the Assumption Abbey in Richardton, with a vigil service at 7 p.m. in the Abbey Church.
Prior Basil (Michael) Kirsch died suddenly on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, at Assumption Abbey, Richardton.
Brother Basil was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Oct. 12, 1944, to Wilmer and Elaine (Hemen) Kirsch, the third of four boys and twin to the second son, Mark. The Kirsch family moved to East Wenatchee, Wash., in 1952, when Brother Basil was about 8 years old, where they operated a fruit farm.
After completing high school and college at St. Martin’s Abbey, Lacey, Wash., Brother Basil joined the U.S. Coast Guard from 1970 to 1974. After completing his military commitment, he joined St. Mark’s Priory, South Union, Ky., where he professed his monastic vows Feb. 20, 1977.
Brother Basil served in various capacities at St. Mark’s Priory. When the decision was made to dissolve St. Mark’s, he, along with two other monks, chose to transfer his monastic stability to Assumption Abbey, Richardton. This was accomplished Aug. 15, 1988, by a decree issued by Abbot John Eidenschink, president of the American Cassinese Congregation of Benedictines.
On Sept. 1, 1988, Brother Basil was appointed to assist in the print shop. He also became vocation director, bookstore manager and taught American Benedictine history in the formation program. On March 1, 1989, he became guest master and director of oblates. He was junior master from Jan. 1, 1992, to April 1996. On Sept. 1, 1998, he was appointed subprior and then prior in August 2004. He mowed most of our lawns for years.
While changing some positions as time went on, Brother Basil always was manager of the bookstore. This he turned into the Abbey gift shop. He excelled in this position. Being almost always at home at the Abbey, he made endless trips to the gift shop to attend to customers, whom he welcomed enthusiastically. He was a good salesman, knew what people liked and left a positive impression. He made many friends.
For many years, Brother Basil answered the Abbey telephone from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. every morning Monday through Saturday. His welcoming voice became familiar to many. As prior, he served our community well for over eight years. He loved all things sweet, especially chocolate.
Brother Basil was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his three brothers, Rev. Gerard Kirsch, O.S.B., St. Martin’s Abbey, Lacey, Mark Kirsch, Seattle, and Stephen (Kathie) Kirsch, Everett, Wash.
Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.stevensonfuneralhome.com.
Stevenson Funeral Home, Dickinson