Father Simon Toth, O.S.B., died Thursday, April 10, 2008. He was born September 7, 1931, in Slickville, Pennsylvania, a son of the late Laszio Sandor Toth and Theresa (Milotoriz) Toth. He was one of ten children. He was predeceased by his brothers, Julius, Louis and William, and his sisters, Mary Majoris, Anna Davis, Helen Christian, and Theresa Kempka. Surviving are his sisters Elizabeth Kurant of Slickville and Margaret Stepic of Export, and a number of nieces and nephews.
He attended Salem Township Elementary School, Slickville, and is a 1949 graduate of Bell Township High School, Salina. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Saint Vincent College in 1956, a master’s degree in Spanish literature from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1977 and also attended New York University in Madrid (1970) and Saint Vincent Seminary (1953-1959). He studied Spanish in Saltillo, Mexico (1968) and pursued Spanish studies in Cochabamba, Boliva (1990). He made simple profession of monastic vows on July 2, 1953, and solemn profession of vows on July 11, 1956. He was ordained a priest on May 23, 1959, by the late Bishop Hugh Lamb of the Diocese of Greensburg.
At Saint Vincent he served as a prefect in the Scholasticate Prep School (1953-1959) and as dorm moderator at Saint Vincent College (1967-1983). He has also served as chaplain of Camp Rosary, Laurel Mountains (1959); associate pastor of Saint Bartholomew Parish, Crabtree (1959-1962); associate pastor of Saint Joseph Parish, Johnstown (1962-1966); associate pastor of Saint Benedict Parish, Baltimore, Maryland (1966-1967); prefect at Saint Vincent College; associate professor of Spanish at Saint Vincent College (1971-2008); prison chaplain at Southwest Regional Correctional Facility, Greenburg (1973-1990). He served as pastor at Saint Boniface Parish, Chestnut Ridge from 1992 to 2008. He received the Student Faculty Award of Saint Vincent College in 1976.
His language studies in Spain enabled him to travel to his parents’ birthplace in Hungary. Father Simon had a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and offered Mass each week for a Marian prayer group. He also visited a number of Marian shrines, including Fatima (Portugal), Lourdes (France), Medjugorje (Bosnia-Herzegovina), and Guadalupe (Mexico). He was a man of deep prayer and a great outdoorsman. He loved his students and his parishioners, always willing to extend himself to meet a need.
The body of Father Simon will be received at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 12 in the Elizabeth J. Roderick Center, Saint Vincent Seminary. Viewing will be held from 4-5 and 7-9 p.m. Saturday, and from 1- 5 p.m. Sunday in the parlor of the Roderick Center. The body will be transferred to the Basilica for the vigil service at 7:15 p.m. Sunday. 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. Monday, April 14, 2008, followed by the rite of committal in 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.