Fr Theodore Young OSB, at 95 years of age the oldest monk at Ampleforth Abbey, died peacefully in the monastery infirmary at Ampleforth yesterday, 30 October 2017.
He was born in Cheshire in November 1921, educated at Ampleforth, and joined the monastic community in September 1940. Fr Theo, as he was known, was ordained priest in 1947 and worked as clerk to the Headmaster of Ampleforth College. In 1951 he received his first parish appointment, at St Peter's in Seel Street, Liverpool (the parish closed in 1978 and is now a restaurant and bar). Fr Theo served there until he became an assistant priest in Leyland, in 1957; twenty-six years later Fr Theo became parish priest in St Mary's, Knaresborough, before returning to Liverpool, where at the age of 77 he became assistant priest at St Austin's, Grassendale. Fourteen years later Fr Theo moved back to St Mary's, Leyland.
In an article written in 2010, reflecting on his seventy years as a monk, Fr Theo wrote: "My experience over the last 70 years has been a very happy one - like everyone else, in whatever career they choose, there have been bad days, but the happy ones far exceed the bad ones - largely because of the support of my Abbots, and my Community, and the kindness and concern of so many people I have come across, in the Parishes I have served, not only Catholics, but from people of all denominations, and none. I would like to thank all those who have been involved in my life, during the past 70 years, and assure them that they are all in my daily prayers".
As his medical needs increased, Fr Theo moved back to the monastery infirmary at Ampleforth, where, on 20 July 2017, he celebrated the 70th anniversary of his ordination. As his brethren were chanting Vespers in the refurbished chapel in Bolton House on the evening of 30 October 2017, Fr Theo died peacefully in the monastery infirmary.
Fr Theo's body will be received into the Abbey Church at Ampleforth on Monday 6 November at 6.00 p.m. His funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11.30am in the Abbey Church on Tuesday 7 November, followed by burial in Monks' Wood.