Father Camillus (Matthias) Wurtz, O.S.B. died on August 16, 2013, at the Heartland Regional Medical Center after a short illness. He was born on November 21, 1928, in Greenleaf, Kansas, the son of Matthias A. and Rhea (Hogue) Wurtz.
Vespers for the Dead, followed by visitation, will be on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, at 7 p.m. in St. Benedict's Abbey Church. The Mass of Christian Burial for Fr. Camillus will be in the Abbey Church on Wednesday, August 21, at 10:30 AM, with interment following in the Abbey cemetery.
Memorials in honor of Fr. Camillus can be made to St. Benedict’s Abbey, 1020 N. Second St., Atchison, KS 66002. The Arensberg-Pruett Funeral Home of Atchison, Kansas, is in charge of arrangements.
Father Camillus attended Greenleaf High School 1942-1944, and finished at Maur Hill Prep School, Atchison, in 1945. He attended St. Benedict’s College for two years before entering the novitiate on July 10, 1946.
Father Camillus professed his first vows on July 11, 1947. After further studies at St. Benedict’s College he received his BA in music from St. Benedict’s College in 1950, and also professed solemn vows on July 11, 1950. After priesthood studies, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 30, 1953, by Archbishop Edward Hunkeler at St. Benedict’s Church, Atchison
In the summers of 1953-1958 Father Camillus studied music at Northwestern University, spending the academic year there in 1958-1959 and receiving a Masters in Music Education. This was followed by summer studies at the University of Wisconsin and Marquette University from 1965-1972. He earned another Masters Degree, this time in European History, from Marquette University in 1972. He also received a licensed practical nurse diploma in February, 1974, and did further studies in Spanish in Mexico in the summers of 1976-1978
Father Camillus taught at Maur Hill for 50 years, from 1954 to 2004, in music, history, geography, religion, Latin, English as Second Language (ESL), and as assistant to the librarian. In addition he served as Chaplain for Camp St. Maur in 1960, and as Director of Camp St. Maur from 1961 to 1964.
From 2004 until the day he died, Father Camillus was the Refectory Assistant at the Abbey. With meticulous care he made sure that the monks’ dining room was kept clean, and everything in its proper place.
In conversations with monks he would often speak of a desire for us to live a more simple monastic life with more attention given to silence and poverty. These values for him did not diminish our lives, but rather helped us to focus on why we truly came to the monastery: to seek God. Always faithful to the Liturgy, Prayer, and Lectio Divina, Father Camillus was a model monk who trusted in the Mercy of God he had received throughout his life.
We ask each community member to offer Mass once according to the manner of his participation in the priesthood of Christ. We commend our brother, Father Camillus, to your prayers.
Survivors include his fellow monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey.