Father Paulinus J. Selle, O.S.B., a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, died Sunday, February 8, 2009. He was 95. Born in St. Marys, Pennsylvania on February 4, 1914, he was a son of the late Joseph and Margaret (Caskey) Selle. He was one of seventeen children. He is survived by one brother, Leo Selle of St. Marys. The other fifteen, all deceased, are Francis, Bertha (Mrs. Arthur) Anderson, Julia (Mrs. Herman) Pontzer, Marcella (Mrs. George) Michael, George, Henry, Margaret (Mrs. Frank) Nekuza, Joseph, Raymond, Edward, Catherine, Benedict, William, Clara and Frederick Selle.
He attended Windfall (Benzinger Township) Grade School and St. Marys Catholic High School in St. Marys. He is a 1931 graduate of Saint Vincent Preparatory School. He received a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Saint Vincent College in 1936. He earned a bachelor of sacred theology in 1938, and licentiate in sacred theology in 1940 from the Pontifical Atheneum at Sant’Anselmo in Rome.
He entered the Benedictine Monastic Community of Saint Vincent Archabbey in 1933. He made simple profession of vows at Saint Vincent Archabbey on July 2, 1934 and solemn profession of vows at Montecassino Archabbey, Italy, on July 11, 1937. He was ordained a priest at Montecassino Archabbey on July 16, 1939, by the Most Rev. Gregorio DiAmare, O.S.B., Archabbot of Montecassino and Bishop of Cassino.
Father Paulinus served the Archabbey in the formation of its monks and in its educational apostolates from 1940 to his retirement in 1997. He taught moral theology (1940-1945), dogmatic (systematic) theology (1946-1971), patrology (1941-1966) and fundamental liturgy (1966-1997) at Saint Vincent Seminary, teaching in the seminary for 57 years and 116 consecutive semesters.
His service included: socius of novices (1934–1936), master of clerics (1942–1943), and master of novices (1971–1980), and moderator of Saint Vincent Seminary (1943–1945). He taught theology at Saint Vincent College (1940–1963), served as chair of that department (1949–1963), and was chair of the Division of Humanities (1952–1953). Father Paulinus was academic dean of Saint Vincent Seminary (1955–1965), spiritual director at Saint Vincent Scholasticate (1950–1959), and assistant spiritual director at Saint Vincent Seminary (1965-1971). He taught summer school at Mount St. Mary Monastery in Pittsburgh (1953–1956), and at Saint Benedict Monastery, Bristow, Virginia (1961–1965). He also served on the Board of Directors of Saint Vincent College (1964–65 and 1966–1971), and the Archabbey Council of Seniors (1964-1965, 1966-1980).
His pastoral experience included weekend missions at Holy Family Parish in West Newton and many other parishes of the Dioceses of Pittsburgh and Greensburg. He was Chaplain at Saint Vincent College (1948–1950), and at the Carmel of the Assumption Monastery in Latrobe (1980–1989).
Father Paulinus was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Nova et Vetera Award of Saint Vincent Seminary (1989) for outstanding and distinguished service, the 1989 Alumnus of Distinction Award from Saint Vincent College Alumni Association, and the 1989 Alumnus Recognition Award from Saint Vincent Seminary Alumni Association. In 1992 he received an Honorary Doctor of Sacred Theology Degree from Saint Vincent Seminary and in 1997 he was named professor emeritus of Saint Vincent Seminary.
The body of Father Paulinus will be received in the Elizabeth J. Roderick Center, Saint Vincent Archabbey, at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, February 10, where viewing will be held from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, February 10, and from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, February 11. The body will be transferred to the Basilica for the vigil service at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, where viewing will continue until 9 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the Archabbey Basilica by Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B. at 2 p.m. Thursday, February 12, followed by the rite of committal in Saint Vincent Cemetery.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Father Paulinus J. Selle Endowment Fund at Saint Vincent Seminary, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, Pa., 15650-2690.