Obituary: Benedictine Father Knute Anderson

Benedictine Father Knute Deane Anderson, 90, died July 20 in the retirement center at St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, July 24, at 10:30 a.m. in St. John’s Abbey and University Church with interment in St. John’s Cemetery.

Deane Alfred Anderson was the first of three children born to Alfred Edward and Maria Agatha (Honl) Anderson, on May 28, 1929, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He graduated from Mount Vernon High School, Mount Vernon, South Dakota in 1947.

After completing two years of studies at St. John’s University, Deane entered the novitiate at St. John’s Abbey where he received the name Knute (after the martyr and King of Denmark, St. Canute IV). Following his first profession as a Benedictine monk on July 11, 1950, he completed college, receiving a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and classics. He then continued his priesthood studies and was ordained May 19, 1956.

For a short time, he taught mathematics at St. John’s Preparatory School and was an instructor of Latin, Greek, and patrology at St. John’s University. In 1957, he enrolled at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands for extensive studies in classical philology and antiquities, returning to St. John’s in 1962. Besides his knowledge of Latin and Greek, Father Anderson mastered German, French, Dutch, Hebrew and Italian.

Early on he served as associate pastor and instructor in religion at St. Boniface Parish and High School in Cold Spring; instructor in Latin, Greek and patrology at St. John’s University; associate pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Richmond; assisting weekends in parishes around St. John’s and the Twin Cities; chaplain at St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, and at St. Raphael’s Convent, St. Cloud.

In 1980 Father Anderson began working in the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library at St. John’s University as a translator, cataloguer and research associate. In 1987 he was appointed the official mail carrier for the monastery. Later in retirement, he continued to keep up with personal reading and research.

He is survived by his sister, Benedictine Sister Ingrid Janet Anderson, St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, nieces and nephews, and the community at St. John’s Abbey. His parents and sister Evelyn preceded him in death.


Author: The Central Minnesota Catholic

The Central Minnesota Catholic is the magazine for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

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