Obituary of Brother Jerome Croteau, OSB

Monday, October 2, 2023

Brother Jerome Croteau, OSB, monk of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, died peacefully in the Lord in his infirmary cell on September 30, 2023. He was 94 and in his 74th year of monastic profession.

He is survived by a sister, Sister Mary Claude, OSB, of Monastery Immaculate Conception, Ferdinand, IN; and brothers, Edward of Seattle, WA, Francis of Denver, CO, and James of Bismarck, ND.

Br. Jerome was born in Belcourt, ND, on April 8, 1929, to Henry and Ernestine (Lebrun) Croteau, and was given the name Adolph at his baptism. A Native American, Br. Jerome was a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa (Ojibway) and lived in what at the time was the smallest Native American Reservation in the United States.

One of seven children, he left the Turtle Mountains at the age of 18. He attended Saint Ann Mission Elementary School, and completed two years at Marty High School, Marty, ND. Br. Jerome was invested as a novice of Saint Meinrad in 1948. He professed his simple vows on May 10, 1949, and his perpetual vows three years later. He solemnized his vows on May 10, 1974.

Br. Jerome’s first monastic assignment was working with the crew that was building St. Bede Hall. He also worked in the archabbey sacristy. In 1952, he was assigned to Saint Meinrad’s new foundation at Blue Cloud Abbey, Marvin, SD, where he worked on the construction of the buildings for 18 months and in the garden.

He returned from Blue Cloud Abbey in 1954, and worked in the kitchen, as a carpenter, and in the vineyard and wine cellar. Br. Jerome served on the Archabbey’s Volunteer Fire Department for many years and was a regular driver of engine no. 1.

He also worked on the landscaping crew. His work involved digging the graves in the Archabbey Cemetery and assisting in lowering the casket into the earth. He enjoyed reminding his confreres that “I’ll be the last one to let you down.”

The Office of the Dead will be prayed at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 4, in the Archabbey Church. The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 5, in the Archabbey Church. Burial will follow in the Archabbey Cemetery. (All times are Central Time.) The services will be livestreamed at