Webmaster’s Note: No mention of abuse in this obituary. There was an interesting statistic however: Over 250 novices and 35% of the current membership of the abbey learned from his words and example.
Cosmas Raymond Dahlheimer, OSB
November 20, 1908 – February 21, 2004
For several years after his ordination in 1936 Father Cosmas taught at Saint Peter’s Abbey, Muenster, Saskatchewan, Canada. He returned to Saint John’s, taught Latin and Greek in the college and was a prefect of students. When the United States entered World War II, Cosmas became one of the sixteen priests of the abbey to volunteer as a military chaplain.
He served in the India-Burma theatre where torrid conditions made life difficult. Applying his experience of community life, Cosmas remarked, “No matter how terrific the hardship, you can stand them when you have company. It doesn’t seem so bad when you know everyone else is going through the same thing.” He was promoted to the rank of major before his separation from the military in 1946.
Cosmas’ sixteen-year term (1947- 1963) as Master of Clerical Novices was the second longest in the history of the abbey. He taught novices numbering in double digits “all the hard and rugged ways by which the journey to God is made” (Rule, chapter 58) but emphasized the balance of worship and work. Over 250 novices and 35% of the current membership of the abbey learned from his words and example.
From 1963-1988 Cosmas was chaplain to the monastics and students of Saint Benedict’s Monastery and College, associate pastor of parishes in St. Cloud, St. Paul and St. Joseph, and chaplain of Saint Scholastica Monastery.
Cosmas’ desire to spend his retirement in the peace-filled routine of monastic life was not realized. His suffering was complicated by the advance of Alzheimer’s disease. He knew more grief than the grace provided by the final Instrument of Good Works in Saint Benedict’s Rule: “Never to despair of God’s mercy.” May he rest in peace!