Monk's teaching, garden inspired contemplation
The Rev. Sebastian Samay used his brilliant mind to inspire students and his hands to create beauty in a garden that was named after him at St. Vincent College, the college's president said on Thursday.
“He was an extraordinary individual,” Brother Norman W. Hipps said. “I always thought Sebastian was the model of an individual who worked with both his mind and his hands, that there was not an opposition between the two demands.”
The Rev. Sebastian A. Samay, O.S.B., a monk of St. Vincent Archabbey, died Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, of a heart attack. He was 87.
The Hungarian refugee taught philosophy at the college, beginning in 1964, was academic dean from 1989-92 and served on the board of directors.
“He was very spontaneous, very delightful,” said Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki. “He had a wonderful sense of humor.”
Rev. Samay had a way with words and spoke French, German, English and his native Hungarian, Hipps said.
Hipps took two philosophy classes the monk taught.
“He was one of the best teachers I ever had,” the college president said. “He was deep, thoughtful and very demanding.”
When a student asked a question, “he would not only answer the surface of the question ... but the implications,” Hipps said.
He tended “Father Sebastian's Garden” for decades.
“It's a lovely place,” Hipps said. “It's quite contemplative.”
“Every day, he was out there pruning, taking care of it, planting flowers,” Nowicki said. “He was active until the day he died.”
He was “novice master” for about 25 years, shaping and inspiring first-year monks, Hipps and Nowicki said.
The garden will continue to flourish, Nowicki said.
“We have an ongoing commitment to that, and there are several younger monks who have indicated an interest,” Nowicki said.
“We're really going to miss him,” Hipps added.
Rev. Samay's body will be received in the Elizabeth J. Roderick Center of St. Vincent Archabbey at 3 p.m. Monday, with a viewing to follow in the parlor of the Roderick Center from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday and 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday. He will be transferred to the Basilica for a vigil service at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Archabbot Nowicki at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Archabbey Basilica.
Interment will follow in the St. Vincent Cemetery.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Unlike years past, strength of 2014 Steelers could be offense
- Steelers Lookahead: Previewing Sunday’s game vs. Cleveland
- Wedding aboard Pittsburgh’s Gateway Clipper ends in arrests
- Cardinal Wuerl school opens with 286 students
- Campus visit sells 4-star Ohio recruit Hall on Panthers
- Steelers notebook: Polamalu made 1st-time captain; Roethlisberger named for offense
- Housing market remains ‘disaster’ in Westmoreland County
- Pirates notebook: Sanchez returns to Bucs in offensive slump
- Pittsburgh hires police chief; announcement coming Tuesday afternoon
- Pa. Monuments license plates revenue to help maintain Gettysburg monuments
- Route 8 down to single lane between Saxonburg Blvd. and Butler Plank Road