Gerald Raymond Bellinghausen was born Aug. 31, 1939, in the rural community of Rhineland, Tex. He was the ninth oldest in a family of 10 children, three girls and seven boys.
His elementary education was under the Olivetan Benedictine Sisters at St. Joseph Parochial School, followed by four years of secondary education at Rhineland High School where he graduated as valedictorian of the class of 1957. He came to Subiaco Abbey as a candidate for the Benedictine brotherhood on Jan. 17, 1960.
He died on Dec. 31, 2013.
Bellinghausen professed his vows as a monk of Subiaco Abbey on Aug. 15, 1961, receiving the name David. For nearly two decades Brother David worked primarily as a linotype operator, printer and manager of the Abbey’s print shop. In addition, he was, for a time, a Christian Doctrine instructor at nearby Scranton and worked in various retreat activities.
Discerning that God was calling him to take a further step, Brother David began his studies for the priesthood at St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict, La. and Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. Graduating Cum Laude with a B.A. degree in religious studies and philosophy in 1983, he entered the Pontifical College Beda in Rome, Italy, for his theological studies. Brother David had the unique privilege of serving as deacon of the Lenten Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22, 1986, receiving the blessed ashes from the hands of the Holy Father.
Brother David completed his theological studies for the priesthood with honors in June 1986. Returning to Subiaco Abbey, he celebrated his 25th anniversary of monastic profession at a Mass offered by Abbot Raphael De Salvo on Aug. 10, 1986. On the Solemnity of All Saints, Nov. 1, 1986, Deacon David Bellinghausen was ordained to the priesthood at Subiaco Abbey by Bishop Andrew J. McDonald of Little Rock.
For the next two years he was on the faculty of Subiaco Academy. During the summer sessions of 1987-88 Father David attended graduate programs at St. John University, Collegeville, Minn., and the Pastoral Institute at Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, Tex., respectively. In 1989 he was assigned as pastor of Holy Redeemer Church in Clarksville and its mission of Sacred Heart Church in Hartman. He was sent to Texas in 1994 to pastor Sacred Heart Church in Muenster. Father David was appointed Prior of the monastery by Abbot Jerome Kodell on July 15, 1997, a position he held until Aug. 2012, when he was appointed pastor of St. Mary Church in Altus, where he was pastor until the time of his death. Serving the community as prior for some 15 years, Father David also gave wholehearted assistance to the Abbey’s Black Angus cattle farm, where he kept abreast of technical data on each animal in the herd. Father David’s favorite pastime was to read a good book or listen to Italian opera.
A Christian Wake service will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 3, the liturgy of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, in Saint Benedict Church at Subiaco. Interment will be in the Abbey Cemetery under the direction of Roller Funeral Home of Paris. Online guestbook