Father Kevin Dale Gorman
Father Kevin Gorman

Born: Monee, Illinois, January 3, 1926

Professed: June 14, 1945

Ordained: May 13, 1951

Died: November 25, 2012

We request your prayers for our deceased confrere, Father Kevin Dale Gormanwho died at 8:15 a.m. Sunday, November 25, 2012 in St. Joseph Nursing Home, Lacon, IL, where he had been a resident for almost three years, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Father Kevin was born at Monee, IL, on January 3, 1926, the younger of two sons of John E. Gorman and Lucinda Woeltje Gorman and baptized as Dale Francis Gorman. His father was the descendant of a large Irish family that had settled in rural Will County, south of Chicago, and Dale grew up on the family farm. His mother was of German Lutheran extraction, but had converted to  Catholicism at the time of her marriage.

He was a bright student and, after six years at a local country school, he completed the seventh and eighth grades in a single year at Our Lady Academy in Manteno, IL, and then, a few months before his thirteenth birthday, he followed his older brother Monroe to St. Bede Academy in the fall of 1938..Here, after completing four years of high school and two of college with an excellent academic record, he applied for entry into the monastic community in 1944.

Our candidates at that time made their novitiate at St John’s Abbey, Collegeville, MN, and it was there that he made his profession for St. Bede on June 14, 1945. During the next two years he completed his college studies at St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, KS, where he received a BA in philosophy and mathematics in 1947. There followed four years of study in our own school of theology, together with some teaching in our academy, in preparation for his ordination to the priesthood on May 13, 1951.

After his ordination Father Kevin was assigned to further study in an agriculture program at the University of Illinois in Champaign, where he earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in agricultural economy. Thus prepared, he taught courses in agriculture during most of the next decade in our college, which had become a junior college after World War II.

After the agriculture program was phased out, he earned a second master’s degree in biology at the University of Notre Dame in 1961-62, and subsequently taught biology at St. Bede Academy for the next twenty years, as well as serving as a prefect and in various other capacities in our school.

Father Kevin was well known to many people throughout this area because of his long-standing connection with the student athletic program at St. Bede Academy. This had begun already during his student days, when he served as manager of varsity teams, and later, as a member of the faculty,  he served as athletic director from 1958 to 1984.

An entirely new phase in his life began in 1984, when he was assigned as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Peru, where he ministered for the next ten years. During this time he presided over the redecoration of the church and the construction of the new “Halle,” which now serves as the parish hall and also as the gymnasium for Peru Catholic School.

In 1994 he became pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, Cherry, and of St. Patrick’s Parish, Arlington, where he served until his retirement in 2008. During the long period in which he was engaged in pastoral ministry, he also served for some time on the presbyteral council of the Diocese of Peoria and as a member of the bishop’s college of consultors.

In 2011 he observed the 60th anniversary of his ordination at St. Joseph’s Nursing Home in Lacon, where he had become a patient in January of 2009, after he had spent some six months in retirement at St. Bede. During his stay of almost three years at St. Joseph’s, he was for some time able to return to the abbey on special occasions, but his ability to communicate gradually decreased as his state of health declined.

We are grateful for the suffrages that you will offer for our deceased confrere, and we promise faithful remembrance of your deceased

Abbot Philip Davey, OSB and community

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