Benedictine Father Cosmas White, 88, a monk and priest of Mount Angel Abbey, died April 27, at the abbey in Saint Benedict. There will be a vigil at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 30, and a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Monday, May 1, both services at the Abbey church, followed by his burial in the Abbey cemetery.
Father Cosmas was born Jan. 6, 1929, in New York to Francis James and Marie Mary (Masterson) White. After attending Catholic grade and high schools in New York he served in the Army from 1946 to 1947. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University before moving to Los Angeles to work there.
Father Cosmas entered Mount Angel Seminary in 1953, began his Novitiate in 1956, was professed a monk of Mount Angel Abbey in 1957, and was ordained a priest on May 11, 1961. Following his ordination, Fr. Cosmas served faithfully in a number of assignments that included teaching and administering at two high schools. He spent five years at Ascension Priory after which he began his years of very active pastoral work at Sacred Heart Church in Tillamook, St. Agatha Parish in Portland, St. Paul Parish in Silverton, and finally at Mount Angel Towers.
Father Cosmas celebrated fifty joyful years as a priest in 2011 surrounded by his brother monks and many of his former parishioners who loved and appreciated him. His health declined over the past several years, but he was well cared for by his fellow monks and by the health care staff of Mount Angel Abbey. Two days before his death, Abbot Jeremy anointed Father Cosmas with the whole community present. He opened his eyes in recognition of the presence of the praying community, and, though unable to speak at the end, he expressed his "Amen" to the prayers by squeezing the abbot's hand.
He is survived by his brothers, Frank of New York and Anthony of Connecticut, his nieces and nephews, and his monastic community.