Fr. Basil Dilger, OSB
At 5:25 in the morning of August 7, 2010, our confrere, Father Basil Dilger died in Guatemala City at the Benedictine monastery of Boca del Monte. He had been recuperating there for only a brief time after having been hospitalized in the city following a heart attack, a stroke, and brain injury. Father Basil was the prior at our foundation in Coban, Guatemala. He is now succeeded by Father Pedro Choc as prior with Father Carlos Pop as the subprior. Resurrection Priory, for the first time since it was founded in 1964, is now being administered by native Guatemalans. Father Bernardine Ness is the only remaining North American in the community.Father Basil was born in Mariah Hill, Indiana on January 18, 1936. He attended high school and two years of college at Saint Meinrad Seminary. In 1955, he and a classmate from Saint Meinrad entered the novitiate at Blue Cloud and professed vows a year later. He and Father Xavier Hillenbrand were ordained on May 20, 1961. From 1962 until 1966, Father Basil was a prefect at Immaculate Conception School on the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota. His next assignment was in Guatemala where he was reunited with his classmate and where both remained until their deaths. When Father Xavier died in 1978, Father Basil replaced him as prior. Besides being superior of the monastery, Father Basil was the novice and junior master, auto mechanic, oblate director, and pastor of San Marcos parish. He was fluent in the Indian language and visited the various chapels under the prioryGÇÖs care in the rural areas.When Father Basil observed the golden jubilee of his monastic profession in 2006, he expressed gratitude for the increase in native vocations at Resurrection Priory. GÇ£As they grow in experience, I will give them all of my present jobs and retire to a life of meditation.GÇ¥ That time has apparently arrived. Father BasilGÇÖs life was one of good zeal and faithful and cheerful adherence to monastic life. May he now rest in eternal peace. Father BasilGÇÖs funeral and burial are in Coban on August 10, 2010.Reported by Abbot Denis Quinkert, OSB, on the Blue Cloud Abbey Web site.