Of your charity, pray for the repose of the soul of my confrère Pater Alberich Strommer who passed away a few days ago. There are few things as beautiful as the death of monk who has been faithful through long, long years. And P. Alberich was an exceptionally good and faithful monk.
When I first knew him I was a bit afraid of him because he he seemed such a stern man–so exact and particular in everything. But I remember my view of him changed when I heard him read the Gospel of the Prodigal Son at Mass one day, and one could tell how deeply he felt it: the danger of the older son, the need of mercy.
In his last days P. Alberich showed remarkable gentleness. One had a palpable sense that this was a man in whom S. Benedict’s promise that the hearts of those who persevere under the Rule will expand, and the will experience “unspeakable sweetness of love.” I brought him Holy Communion regularly, and especially in the past few months he would thank me with such heartfelt and moving gratitude.
Today we are holding watch at his remains in the funeral chapel of the Abbey (above), and tomorrow will be the funeral.