Father Roland L. Heid, O.S.B., a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, died on August 14, 2002. He was 88 years old.
Father Roland was born on July 7, 1914, in Erie, Pa., the son of the late Frank and Anna (Schwab) Heid, and was one of six children. He attended Saint Mary Grade School in Erie and Saint Vincent Preparatory School in Latrobe. He received a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Saint Vincent College in 1937, studied at Saint Vincent Seminary from which he was ordained in 1941. He earned a doctoral degree in physics from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., in 1950.
Father Roland entered Saint Vincent Archabbey in 1934, making simple profession of vows on July 2, 1935, and solemn profession of vows on July 11, 1938. He was ordained a priest on June 15, 1941.
Father Roland served the monastic community primarily in its educational apostolate. He taught mathematics and physics at Saint Vincent College, and was chair of both the mathematics and physics departments at various times. During World War II he was an instructor in physics for the United States Air Force personnel, preparing them for flight school training. He also authored several scientific articles and contributed to the Catholic Encyclopedia for School and Home. Father Roland belonged to several professional organizations including the American Benedictine Society, and the American Association of Physics Teachers of which he is a past president of the Pennsylvania Section. In 1985 he was named professor emeritus at Saint Vincent College.
Father Roland’s other services included moderator of “Saint Vincent on the Air,” prefect at Saint Vincent Seminary, and subprior of the archabbey. He also served as administrator and pastor of Saint Boniface Parish, Chestnut Ridge, where he oversaw the construction of the new parish church in 1970-1971.
Father Roland is preceded in death by his parents and by a brother, Martin. He is survived by four brothers, Francis, John, and Leonard, all of Erie, and Father Clement Heid, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey.
Father Roland’s body will be received at 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 17, 2002 in the Elizabeth Roderick Center, Saint Vincent Archabbey. A viewing for Father Roland will be held in the parlor of the Elizabeth Roderick Center on Saturday, August 17, from 3 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Sunday, August 18, from 2 to 5 p.m. A vigil service will be held in Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica at 7:15 p.m. on Sunday, August 18. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, August 19 with the Right Rev. Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., as principal celebrant.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Benedictine Health and Welfare Fund at Saint Vincent Archabbey, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, Pennsylvania 15650-2690.