- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

February 29, 2020


February 21 Dom. John Eudes Bamberger, O.C.S.O., 1926-2020

Father John Eudes was born August 24, 1926, in Litonia, Kentucky, the son of Joseph Fredrick and Dorothy O’Donovan Bamberger. He was a US Navy WWII Veteran. He entered Gethsemani in 1950, made his solemn profession in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1956. He was elected the Secretary of the Consilium Generale in 1969, an office he held until 1971 when he was elected the fourth abbot of Our Lady of the Genesee. He served the community as its abbot for 30 years.

During his tenure in office, he oversaw the building of the abbey church, a new infirmary and chapter house. Dom John Eudes was involved in the establishment of two foundations, one in Lapa, Brazil (1977) [transferred to Campo do Tenente 4 March 1982] and the other in Auhum, Nigeria (1978). Both, while quite unique in the origins, required the expenditure of much support and personnel from Genesee. In the late 1980s, an attempt was made to found a monastery of men in Korea. Despite the best efforts of the founders, this foundation failed to grow.

On August 24, 2001, Fr. John Eudes celebrated his 75th birthday. In accord with the Constitutions of the Order, he submitted his letter of resignation to the Abbot General. His resignation was accepted by the Abbot General, with the consent of his Council, on 4 September. His resignation is effective as of 14 September 2001. 

After his retirement, Later he was named Superior ad nutum of Guimaras (Philippines) which he served from 2001 until 2002.  He also served as Editor of Cistercian publications. For a period of time, Dom John Eudes lived the life of a hermit at the monastery while continuing to teach and work in the community. As his health needs increased, he took up residence in the abbey infirmary. He regularly participated in community prayer and liturgy.

He passed away on Friday, February 21, 2020. His body was received by the community on Monday, February 24, 2020. His Funeral Mass was celebrated on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, at 10 AM. He was buried in the Abbey Cemetery.

“The Word who is incarnate in Christ who gave himself so fully for us on the cross, and offers his love to us in his Spirit, deserves nothing less than our whole heart. In so loving him, we are united in affection with those who belong to him, above all those whom he calls to love together in his service and in the same community” ( Fr. John Eudes Bamberger).

(Compiled by Fr. Jerome Machar)