Fr Cyprian Smith OSB, Benedictine monk of Ampleforth Abbey, died in York Hospital on 8 April 2019, at the age of 81.
He was born in Barrow in Furness in 1937 and educated at Barrow Grammar School. He studied French Literature and Music at Manchester University and then worked as an Assistant Lecturer at Queen's University, Belfast, and then Hull University. From 1968 - 1972 he lived in Brazil, where he was a Lecturer in Music at the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica and taught Latin and Music at the British School in Rio de Janeiro.
A growing taste for prayer and reading while in Brazil and retreats at Sao Bento Benedictine monastery in Rio de Janeiro led to a sense of monastic vocation, and on his return to England in 1973 he joined the Benedictine Community at Ampleforth Abbey. Fr Cyprian was ordained priest in July 1979.
In 1987 Fr Cyprian's book The Way of Paradox - Spiritual Life as taught by Meister Eckhart was published. It became a popular spiritual text, offering new and important insights into God, the nature of society and the reader's own spiritual journey.
From 1989-1998, Fr Cyprian was Novice Master at Ampleforth Abbey. Many of his talks to the novices were adapted for lay people, too, and published under the title The Path of Life (1995). From 2012-2016 Fr Cyprian was chaplain to St John's House in the school.
Fr Cyprian was born with cerebral palsy and in later years his mobility was restricted and his overall health declined. He was admitted to York Hospital at the beginning of April and died peacefully in the hospital on 8 April 2019.
Fr Cyprian's body will be received into the Abbey Church at Ampleforth on Monday 15 April 2019 at 6pm. His funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday 16 April at 11.30am in the Abbey Church, followed by burial in the Monks' Wood.
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