REST IN PEACE
December 2, 2015
Thomas Crawford Abel, 86, passed away Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at The Carpenter House of St. Joseph Hospice in Baton Rouge. Born September 13, 1929, and raised in New Orleans with three siblings, Tom was the son of the late Myrle (Satterlee) Abel and John Vaughan Abel. Tom is survived by his adult children: Carrie, Chris, Jon, David, and Joey, and twelve grandchildren that affectionately call him "Papa." Tom attended Catholic schools throughout his early years, which was the catalyst of a calling into the monastic life and priesthood. After high school, Tom was a Dominican monk for a few years in Chicago, Trappist monk and priest (ordained 1963) at New Melleray Abbey in Iowa and then sent with fellow Brothers to start a monastery in Brooksville, MS. It was there he received his Bachelor's of Divinity and after leaving the priesthood to marry Mary Ann (Dziak) Abel in 1971, he continued his education in Mississippi and Indiana to attain his Masters of Social Studies and Doctorate of Ministry. Tom continued his ministry through varied roles in Alabama and Louisiana but hit his stride as the Director of Marriage and Family Life for the Diocese of Baton Rouge for sixteen years as well as chaplain for Baton Rouge Hospice, pastoral therapist and started Southmen and Friends, leading men's gatherings around the country. Visitation will be held at St. Jean Vianney Church in Baton Rouge on Saturday, December 19, at 9am, with funeral mass at 10 am. A private burial will be held at St. Patrick's Cemetery #2 in Metairie. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Joseph Hospice of Baton Rouge or New Melleray Abbey in Peosta, IA.
Tom was an early CORPUS Board member serving as secretary. He was a very active member attending many CORPUS National meetings and the International meeting in the Netherlands in 1990
Tom writes about his life style as a monk and married priest in this article THE ADVOCATE.