Brother Andrew Suarez, OSB, who transferred to Subiaco Abbey 19 years ago, died July 11, the feast day of St. Benedict. He was 73.
He was born Louis Suarez Dec. 9, 1947, to Seg and Hortense Hardee Suarez in St. Louis. He was homeschooled before the family moved to East St. Louis, where he attended Assumption High School. In a Q&A posted on Subiaco Abbey’s website, Brother Andrew said those who had most influenced him growing up were “the Jesuit priests from my youth; I don't think I would've joined without their influence. Them and Pope John Paul II.”
Brother Andrew graduated in 1965 and began doing clerical work at his father’s electrical maintenance company, Suarez & Sons.
For 15 years before entering religious life, Brother Andrew worked at Stewart Home School, taking courses for his own educational enrichment, and served as a house parent for students. He began to feel attracted to religious life, something he discussed with his spiritual director. He once stated, “He told me to pray about this and over time; we both felt that God was leading me in this direction.”
Brother Andrew entered the novitiate in 1988, making his first profession as a monk of Corpus Christi Abbey in Texas a year later. He professed his final vows Jan. 6, 1992. The abbey closed and he moved to Subiaco Abbey June 4, 2002. He was granted official canonical status asa monk of Subiaco Abbey in 2003.
Brother Andrew held many roles, including groundskeeper, refectory and laundry worker, publications office assistant, custodian and volunteer in the infirmary.
He moved to the abbey infirmary in the fall of 2010 because of ongoing problems with circulation in his legs. His abbey obituary stated, “Jovial, caring, hospitable and ‘no-nonsense’ are qualities that best describe Brother Andrew. In his spare time, Brother Andrew enjoyed welcoming guests to the monastery and giving tours.”
He is survived by one brother, John Suarez of St. Louis.
A vigil service was July 13 and a Mass of Christian Burial July 14 at St. Benedict Church at Subiaco Abbey.
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