`Let nothing affright thee, disturb thee'

Dom Augustine O'Sullivan OSB was a deeply spiritual man

Dom Augustine O'Sullivan OSB was a deeply spiritual man. A former Abbot of Glenstal Abbey, Murroe, Co Limerick, he followed the dictate of St Benedict "to work and to pray".

He also had a special devotion to St Teresa of Avila and cherished her words: "Let nothing affright thee, disturb thee." Of a mild disposition with a tough streak, as leader of the Glenstal community he guided the monastery through the troubled times of the post-Vatican 11 church.

He didn't like confrontation but was forceful in a gentle way.

He had a well-rounded personality marked by equanimity and compassion.

Seamus Augustine O'Sullivan was born in Limerick and educated at the Christian Brothers School in Sexton Street. He trained as a national school teacher and taught in Granard and Roscrea.

He entered Glenstal in January, 1946 and made his solemn and final vows in 1950. He took a BA in philosophy in University College Dublin, in 1949, and went on to study theology at the Holy Ghost College, Kimmage, in Glenstal and at Maredsous Abbey, in Belgium. Ordained to the priesthood in June 1952, Father O'Sullivan was elected second Abbot of Glenstal in 1966. Earlier he had taught in the school, was organist in the abbey church, novice master and Prior in the monastery.

He had a good sense of humour and had a great love of music with Bach's choral music, Haydn's Creation and Handel's Messiah being among his favourites.

He was very interested in the gardens at Glenstal and took great care of the plants and shrubs there in a quiet, unobtrusive way. After retiring as Abbot of Glenstal in 1980, Dom Augustine went to Nigeria and became Prior of the monastery, Ewu-Ishan, which had been founded by Glenstal in the 1970s. The mission is run on a farm which tries to be self-sufficient. Abbot Augustine chose to remain on in Nigeria after retiring as Prior in 1996, although he returned to Glenstal every year. He had a strong sense of the penitential and was regarded by the local Nigerian community as a beloved father-figure. He died in Nigeria after a short illness.

He is survived by a brother, sister, niece and nephews, and by the Benedictine communities at Glenstal and Ewu-Ishan.

Dom Augustine O'Sullivan: born 1918; died December, 1999