Benedictine Father Justin Duvall dies Oct. 5

Special to The Message

Benedictine Father Justin DuVall, 70, monk, priest, and former archabbot of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, died Oct. 5 in the monastery infirmary. 

Father Justin was born in Toledo, Ohio, on July 7, 1951, to Arnold Bernard and Mary Jane DuVall. He was given the name Timothy Martin at his baptism. When his mother died when Justin was 3, he was raised by his father and stepmother, Nancy Luttenberger. He attended Holy Spirit High School Seminary in Toledo. 

He enrolled in Saint Meinrad College in 1969, graduating in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French. Invested as a novice in the summer of 1973, he professed his simple vows on Aug. 24, 1974, and his solemn vows on Aug. 24, 1977. He received a Master of Divinity from Saint Meinrad School of Theology in 1978, and he was ordained to the priesthood on April 30, 1978. 

Following his ordination, Father Justin earned a Master of Arts degree in library science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In 1979, he was appointed assistant librarian in the Saint Meinrad Archabbey Library, a position he held full-time for five years, and then part-time for the next 11 years. 

Other assignments in his early post-ordination years included liturgical master of ceremonies, assistant novice/junior master, and chairman of the monastery’s Liturgical Advisory Committee. In 1984, he was appointed prior by Archabbot Timothy Sweeney and held those responsibilities until Archabbot Timothy’s resignation in the summer of 1995. 

During those years, his other responsibilities included serving as a member of the Archabbey Council and the Archabbey Strategic Planning Committee, and as a commuting chaplain for the Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand. 

In 1995, following the election of Archabbot Lambert Reilly, Father Justin was appointed an associate dean of the School of Theology. The following year, he was named the provost and vice-rector of the School of Theology, a responsibility he held for the next 8½ years until his election as archabbot. 

On Dec. 31, 2004, Father Justin was elected the ninth abbot and sixth archabbot of Saint Meinrad. On Jan. 21, 2005, he received the abbatial blessing from his confrere, the Most Reverend Daniel M. Buechlein, OSB, archbishop of Indianapolis. 

During his tenure, Archabbot Justin oversaw several significant building projects, including the final stage of construction of a new Guest House and Retreat Center; and the renovations of St. Gregory Hall, St. Bede Hall, Newman Hall and the St. Martin Center. 

More recently, he oversaw extensive renovations to the infrastructure of the monastery, which included an addition to the infirmary and the installation of a geothermal heating/cooling system. He also led the final 18 months of the Archabbey’s largest-ever campaign, which raised nearly $43 million for renovations, endowment and operating expenses. 

Following his resignation as abbot, he undertook a five-year term as vice-rector at Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis. He returned to the monastery in May 2021 to assume the responsibility as the community’s novice/junior master. His new assignment was cut short with the unexpected diagnosis of pancreatic and liver cancer in early August. 

Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Oct. 9 in the Archabbey Church. Interment followed in the Archabbey Cemetery. 

Please keep Father Justin, his family, and the brothers and priests of St. Meinrad Archabbey in your prayers.