Date of death: 10/2/2007

Saint Meinrad Class: O 1944

Father Julius Armbruster, O.S.B. a founding member of the Blue Cloud Benedictine Community and the oldest in age, died at the Wilmot Care Center where he had been residing for the past several weeks. At one time, Father Julius had been the pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Wilmot, the town ten miles north of the abbey. Father Julius was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 10, 1918. In 1938 he entered the novitiate at St. Meinrad and professed solemn vows in 1943. Father Julius was ordained to the priesthood in 1944 by Archbishop Joseph Ritter of Indianapolis. One of Father Julius’ classmates at St. Meinrad, Father Cletus Miller, is also a member of the Blue Cloud community and is stationed at Resurrection Priory in Guatemala. For five years following ordination, Father Julius was at St. Michael’s Indian Mission in North Dakota. In 1949 he was recalled to Indiana where he became an assistant pastor at St. Benedict’s Church in Evansville. While there Father Julius was the first of our monastic founders to receive notification that he was being sent to South Dakota. His letter of appointment was delivered to him by his mother who had been visiting at Saint Meinrad.At Blue Cloud, Father Julius was the plumber during the construction era and tended to the boilers and maintenance whenever he was living at the abbey. He had often been assigned to the missions: two different times at St. Paul’s Indian Mission, Marty, South Dakota; twice at Immaculate Conception Mission, Stephan, South Dakota; once again at St. Michael’s as a member of Blue Cloud Abbey, and at St. Ann’s Indian Mission, Belcourt, North Dakota. While residing at the monastery, in addition to having been the pastor of Wilmot, he also cared for Annunciation Parish in Revillo two different times. And beyond maintenance work at the abbey he had also been procurator and Brother Instructor. In his later years, Father Julius and another octogenarian, Abbot Alan Berndt, mowed the grass in the yard and cemetery.Father Julius was a hard worker and when he was busy it paid to get out of his way. Rushing past his confreres in the corridor, he would exclaim Whew!” and rapidly move on to whatever was occupying him at the moment. He was a man of strength. At culpa he once confessed, “For breaking a crowbar.” He was conscientious about his religious duties. On a trip with an abbey truck, he stopped to pray office as the midnight hour was approaching. Sitting on the cab’s bumper and praying his breviary by the truck’s headlights, another trucker stopped to ask what the problem was. “I’m just reading,” Father Julius replied. “Must be a good book,” the other trucker replied.Father Julius’ funeral and burial were at Blue Cloud AbbeyProvided by Abbot Thomas Hillenbrand, O.S.B. & the Monks of Blue Cloud Abbey, Marvin, South Dakota.”