ST. BENEDICT — At a special Mass of Thanksgiving, four monks of Mount Angel Abbey celebrated jubilees. Marking 60 years as monks are Father Augustine DeNoble, Brother Maurus Kreutzer and Father Leo Rimmele. Brother Cyril Drnjevic was celebrated for his 25 years as a Benedictine.

Fr. Augustine, a reference librarian at the abbey archives, was born in Wisconsin. While a child, his family moved to Tillamook, where he first encountered Benedictines. He graduated from Tillamook High School in 1944 and entered Mount Angel Seminary College in 1946. His discernment led him to join the abbey, where he made profession as a monk in 1950. He completed his studies at the seminary and was ordained a priest in 1955.

As a monk, his service to the community has emphasized liturgy and library, which includes the archives. For most of the 1960s, he was abbey guest master and from 1978-95 he edited the newsletter for the monks in Cuernavaca. He has written books on the parish in Tillamook, the Benedictines in Mexico and a monk-iconographer.

He also spent more than 13 years translating Latin hymns and compiling and editing three issues of the Divine Office for Mount Angel Abbey.

Brother Maurus served as a laborer and sports fan during his earlier decades at the abbey. Monks and maintenance staff workers call him “Coach.” His health does not permit him the mobility of his younger years, but he still prays the divine office faithfully and lives the monastic life.

Brother Maurus was born in 1928 in Sheridan. He graduated from McMinnville High School in 1948. The following year he became a novice lay brother and in 1950 professed vows as a monk.

Brother Maurus served as an abbey gardener in his early years and returned to that work in 1970. By 1950 he was also a plumber and worker in the monastery boiler room. He was also a member of the kitchen staff. In 1955 he began work in the Benedictine Press.

Then he shifted to work in a variety of tasks as a member of the maintenance staff until 2004. Even after health slowed him, he continued work as assistant custodian in the abbey church and delivered paper supplies to the monastery.  

Father Leo has served as a military chaplain since 1966. Over the years he has obtained liturgical art for the abbey as well as a number of vestments.

Father Leo grew up in Los Angeles and attended St. Paul School and then Mount Angel Seminary High School and Mount Angel Seminary College. He decided to test his vocation at the abbey and concluded that monastic life was his calling.

After making solemn vows, he completed seminary studies and was ordained a priest. Father Leo has served as business manager, head librarian, sacristan, manager of the abbey book and supply store, manager of the Benedictine Press and as a high school teacher. Along with those assignments, he also designed and installed the abbey’s 1,100-line automatic phone system.

Father Leo continues a tradition begun during World War I, when the abbey began providing at least one monk to serve as a military chaplain. In 1966 he joined the Army and began a life of service in France, England, Germany, Vietnam and in the US.

In 1981, Abbot Bonaventure called him home to take over the library and modernize the Benedictine Press, consolidate the book and supply stores and upgrade the phone system. In 1984, Abbot Bonaventure let him return to the Army. For a year he served at Sinop, Turkey, on the Black Sea, then for three years in Neu Ulm, Bavaria, Germany. Since that time, he has served as a chaplain at Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis and then at McChord Air Force Base and at Fort Lewis Confinement Facility.
Brother Cyril was born in Portland and baptized at St. Cecilia Church.

He earned a degree in economics from the University of Puget Sound. He was received as a monk in 1985 and began his theological studies in the seminary. He also studied at the University of Virginia where he received a master’s degree in history.

Brother Cyril’s studies have led him to serve the monastery as a public relations liaison, director of abbey publicity, teacher in the seminary and college, curator of the abbey stamp collection, manager of the Oremus Prayer Program and most recently a library technical assistant.

Before joining the abbey, Brother Cyril worked in Bremerton as a construction assistant and legal process server. He also spent a summer as a fisheries technician on the Olympic Peninsula. He spent two years serving in the Peace Corps in Liberia, West Africa, where he discovered his vocation.

He works with Earthen Vessels ministry, which he helped found.