Father Benjamin Walker, O.S.B., a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, died Thursday, December 14. He was a son of the late Benjamin L. Walker, Sr. and Margaret C. (Bannon) Walker.
One of eight children, he was preceded in death by his sisters Helen O’Brien and Margaret Garman and his brothers Harry and Edwin. He is survived by his brothers Benjamin of Norfolk, Virginia and William of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and his sister Jane Ann O’Brien of Virginia Beach.
Born in Norfolk, Virginia, on September 24, 1930, Father Benjamin attended Holy Trinity Parochial School and the James Barry-Robinson High School. He graduated from Saint Vincent Preparatory School in 1951. He received a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Saint Vincent College in 1957, and a master’s degree in public administration from North Texas State University in 1977. He graduated from Saint Vincent Seminary in 1960.
He made simple profession of monastic vows on July 2, 1954, and solemn profession of vows on July 11, 1957. He was ordained a priest on June 4, 1960 by the late Bishop William G. Connare of Greensburg at the Archabbey Basilica.
He has served in the parish apostolates, including Ascension Church, Jeannette and St. Mary’s Parish, North Side, Pittsburgh. He was later assigned as pastor of St. Bede Parish, Bovard (1981-1984); St. Joseph Parish, Johnstown (1984-1993); and Saint Peter Parish, North Side, Pittsburgh (1993-2004). In 2004 he was named senior priest of Saint Peter Parish, Pittsburgh. He was a chaplain with the U.S. Navy in Vietnam and a number of U.S. Military bases from 1964-1970; director of personnel for Saint Vincent College and Archabbey (1980-1983); and special assistant to the Archabbot for pastoral affairs (1983-2000); and a member of the Archabbey Human Resources Council (1988-2000). He also served on the Archabbey Council of Seniors from 1984 through 1991, and has been a member of the Saint Vincent College Board of Directors since 1999.
He was elected to Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Fraternity, in 1977. He was also a member of the Lions Club, and is a member of the Knights of Columbus.
The body will be received at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 17 at Saint Peter Church, North Side, where viewing will be held from 2-7 p.m. Sunday and 9-10 a.m. Monday, followed by a memorial Mass celebrated by Bishop Paul J. Bradley, administrator of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Saint Peter.
Following the Memorial Mass, the body will be transferred to the Elizabeth J. Roderick Center at Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, for viewing from 3-5 p.m. Monday, December 18. There will be a wake service at 7:15 p.m. Monday in the Archabbey Basilica, followed by viewing until 9 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B. at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, December 19 in the Archabbey Basilica, followed by interment at Saint Vincent Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Benedictine Health and Welfare Fund at Saint Vincent Archabbey, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, PA 15650.