Date of death: 8/7/2008
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1945
Father Barnabas Lundergan had no formal training as an accountant, yet for 50 years he oversaw the financial stability of Marmion Abbey and Marmion Academy in Aurora.The abbey and the all-boys private college-preparatory high school are run under the auspices of the Benedictine order of monks. And Father Lundergan took care of every financial detail of both entities until he was well into his 80s.I guess you would say [he was] the chief financial officer for Marmion,” said Father Charles Reichenbacher, director of development of Marmion Abbey and Academy. “He was a precise man. He was very good at it. That’s why he lasted all those years. Basically without being a full professional accountant, he was an accountant.Father Lundergan, 88, of Aurora died of complications from a fall Thursday, Aug. 7, in the abbey. He had fallen two days earlier.Born Howard Lundergan in Montgomery, IN, he was one of 12 children. In the 7th grade, he told his twin brother that he knew he wanted to be a priest.We both talked about it,” said his twin brother, Harold. “We were in the 7th grade when he said, ‘I think I’ll study to be a priest.’ At that time, you went on to study after the 8th grade.”He was quite religious and he liked the Benedictine family. He always told me about this family; that’s what he called them’his family.Father Lundergan entered Saint Meinrad Abbey in Indiana, where he attended high school, college and theology school. He was ordained in 1945.At the abbey he became secretary to the rector but was soon transferred to Marmion Abbey in 1947, the same year it became independent of Saint Meinrad.During those first years, Father Lundergan taught typing and economics, but soon his talents in bookkeeping were discovered and he was made treasurer of the abbey and the academy. In 1952 he assumed those duties full time.He loved it,” said his sister, Jean Diersing. “And he only recently retired from it. He worked so many years doing it.Throughout the years, Father Lundergan had to change with the times as more equipment was added to his office, but his colleagues said he changed along with it.He put in the whole budgeting systems with the abbey and the academy . . . and he was a wizard with the impossible Medicare records. He took care of [all the monks’] Medicare records and Social Security. He understood all that,” Reichenbacher said.He was a kind, considerate, faithful man,” he added.In addition to his sister and brother, other survivors include many nephews and nieces.Information obtained from the Chicago Tribune online, www.chicagotribune.com.