Fr. Jude Bell, OSB, of St. Gregory’s Abbey in Three Rivers, Mich. died peacefully on July 11, the Feast of St. Benedict, at age 91.
He was born Roger Craig Bell, and after serving in the Korean War, he attended Nashotah House, graduating in 1957. After ordination he served as curate and vicar of St. Simeon’s Church in Chippewa Falls, Wisc., and Church of the Advent in Jeannette, Pa.
He joined the community at St. Gregory’s Abbey in 1971, and made his life profession in 1977. Bell served in several jobs within the abbey, but his greatest contribution was editing the Abbey Letter for more than forty years. He was an amateur pianist who liked to play Schubert and Scott Joplin. In the community’s words, “He was known to many for his witty and intelligent conversation and was outspoken on social justice issues. Most important, he was a faithful and dutiful monk, who died in the Lord.”
The Rev. Dr. Peyton Craighill, who served as a teacher and administrator in Episcopal institutions around the world, died June 4 at age 89.
He was born in Nanchang, China on October 24, 1929, the day of the Wall Street crash. Craighill was the son of Marian Gardner Craighill, a teacher and writer; and the Rt. Rev. Lloyd Rutherford Craighill, Sr., the last Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Anking in Eastern China. He lived in China until the family was forced to return to the U.S. during World War II, and spoke fluent Mandarin most of his life.
Following his graduation from Virginia Seminary, he served a curacy in Baltimore and then as a chaplain in Okinawa. In 1961, he joined the faculty of Tainan Theological College in Taiwan, and continued teaching there until 1978, taking a leave of absence to study for a doctorate in liturgy at Princeton. In Taiwan he was influential in the design and construction of several Episcopal churches and maintained a lifelong interest in church architecture.
Craighill worked for several years at the Episcopal Church Center in New York before becoming Associate Dean of the School of Theology at the University of the South. He created and led the Diocese of Pennsylvania’s School for the Diaconate to train vocational deacons for service and became a local leader in the criminal justice reform movement. In retirement, he served congregations in Taiwan and Pennsylvania and was finally able to join the choir, at Grace Church in Lexington, Va. near the retirement community where he and his wife Mary spent their final years.
The Rev. John Gardner who served as a missionary in Papua New Guinea as well as in a number of churches around the US, died June 14.
Gardner was a native of Oakland and a graduate of Church Divinity School of the Pacific. He was ordained in 1979 in the Diocese of Northern Michigan, serving first as vicar of Good Shepherd, St. Ignace. He followed this by serving parishes in New Jersey, New York and California, and at St. John’s Cathedral in Napier, New Zealand. He had a great love of the arts and was an accomplished organist.
The Rev. Al MacKenzie, who served as rector of his hometown parish for nearly thirty years, died June 13 at age 90.
MacKenzie was a native of Gallipolis, Ohio, and was a graduate of Ohio University and Virginia Seminary. He served as rector of St. Peter’s, Gallipolis from 1964-1992. His grandfather, the Rev. Charles MacKenzie had also been rector of St. Peter’s from 1910-1915. He was chaplain to the Gallipolis Volunteer Fire Department for nearly twenty years and also served Grace Church in nearby Pomeroy, Ohio for a year. He remained active in ministry during his retirement in North Carolina, and is survived by his wife of 67 years, Dot.
The Rev. Fred Munro-Ferguson, who served parishes in the Dioceses of Newark and Albany, died on July 10 in Harwich, Mass, at age 85.
A native of Montclair, N. J., his undergraduate studies were in music and voice at Westminster Choir College in Princeton. After graduation from Philadelphia Divinity School, Munro-Ferguson served parishes in Upper Montclair and North Bergen, N.J., and in Catskill, and Philmont, N. Y. He was secretary and personal assistant to the Rt. Rev. Wilbur E. Hogg, VI Bishop of Albany, from 1974 until 1980. His final call was as rector of the Church of St. Sacrament in Bolton Landing, N.Y, as the rector for fourteen years. During his ministry and into his retirement, he sang in light opera companies, oratorio societies and chorales, acted in local dramatic productions and taught French in the adult education program at the Harwich public library.