Benedictine Brother Mark Parker, 73, a monk of Mount Angel Abbey, died Feb. 2. He had been professed as a monk for 34 years.

John Parker was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1948. From 1966 to 1971 he studied at the University of Washington in Seattle, and later worked as a reservation sales agent for a major U.S. airline.

This was an “unchurched” period in his life, but John discerned and pursued a call to faith, and was baptized in 1981 at the Easter Vigil at St. Anthony Parish in Renton, Washington. John sensed yet a further calling, which eventually brought him to Mount Angel Abbey, where he made his monastic profession Sept. 8, 1987, and received the name of Mark.

Brother Mark served the monastic community and its guests in a variety of roles with characteristic devotion, generosity, and attention to detail. For some 25 years he cared for the priests and religious guests who stayed inside the monastery during their visits. He also worked for many years in the Abbey bookstore.

In his later years, Brother Mark suffered a decline in his health and was often in severe pain. Remaining largely within the cloister, he continued to be a prayerful presence to the thousands of people who contacted Mount Angel each year through the Oremus prayer program, requesting the prayers of the monks for special intentions.

Brother Mark’s final years were in the care of the Providence Benedictine Nursing Center in Mount Angel where he died in the presence of two of his brother monks. The funeral for Brother Mark was held at Mount Angel Abbey Feb. 5, and he is interred in the monks’ cemetery. May he rest forever in the peace of Christ.