Anselm Barry RIP

Anselm Barry OSB


died, Saturday 6th May 2023

aged 95

John Francis Barry was born in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary on 24th of March 1928. Because of his father’s position as a bank-manager, he spent his childhood in several Irish towns. After school with the Jesuits at Clongowes College, he entered the monastery of Glenstal on 11th March, 1947 receiving the name Anselm. He was professed on 2nd February, 1949.

Following studies in Maredsous and in Sant’Anselmo in Rome and specialising in philosophy, he was ordained priest on 31st July, 1953. During the following years he taught in Glenstal Abbey School, acting also for a time as assistant to the Novice Master.

In 1966, at the invitation of the Catholic Bishop of Stockholm, he moved to Upsalla in Sweden where it was planned to open a Catholic faculty of theology in which Fr Anselm was to teach philosophy. This plan was not realised and Fr Anselm spent three years teaching English and Religion in a Catholic high school. During this period he learned Swedish.

In 1970, Fr Anselm moved to Wald-Sigmaringen in southern Germany. He remained there for forty-four years as chaplain to the Benedictine Sisters of St Lioba and the girls of their school in a former Cisterian women’ monastery. From the mid-70s, he also acted as curate in the parish, the church of which was also the monastery church. During this period he became a German citizen.

In 2004, Fr Anselm moved to Rome to the Benedicitine community at the Basilica of St Paul’s Outside the Walls. Here he had an active ministry as confessor, his ability to hear confessions in English, German and even Swedish being greatly appreciated.

When his health began to decline, he returned to Glenstal in 2014. In the monastery he acted as assistant librarian until, some months ago, his health made this impossible.

On 24th March of this year he fell and broke a hip. Following and operation in Limerick Regional Hospital, he was transferred to St Anthony’s Nursing Home in Pallas Green, Co Tipperary. After only a few weeks there he died in the early morning of 6th May, 2023.

Funeral arrangements: reposing at Monastery Reception on the afternoon of Tuesday 9th May with removal to the Abbey Church at 5pm for the Office of the Dead. Funeral Mass at 11.30am on Wednesday 10th May.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

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