Mark E. Thedens, O.S.A.
February 24, 2009

Brother Mark E. Thedens, O.S.A., 66, died February 24, 2003.

Born January 4, 1937 to Rollo and Jane (Mellon) Knapp in Chicago, Illinois, he was baptized John Keith Knapp September 5, 1937 at St. Margaret of Scotland Church, Chicago. After his mother's marriage in 1943 to Leroy Thedens, Keith was adopted by his new father and changed his surname to Thedens. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation October 17, 1948 at St. Bernard Church, Chicago.

After graduating from St. Bernard Elementary School, Chicago (1951) and St. Rita High School, Chicago, (1955) he entered the Augustinian formation program as a Postulant in September, 1955.

He was received into the Novitiate September 8, 1956 and professed simple vows in the Order of St. Augustine September 10, 1957.

Following profession of vows, Keith began collegiate studies in the Augustinian seminary program, studying for one year at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Conception, Missouri and for the next three years at Tolentine College, Olympia Fields, Illinois. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Tolentine in 1961.

After the expiration of his temporary vows in 1961, he decided to leave the program of preparation for priestly ordination and become a non-clerical brother in the Order. At this time he took the religious name Mark. He was required to repeat his Novitiate year. Thus, he was again received into the Novitiate January 20, 1962. He professed simple vows January 21, 1963 and solemn vows January 22, 1966.

Mark was assigned to St. Rita High School in 1963, where he taught Spanish and directed the school chorus. While teaching, he continued his studies, earning a B. A. in Music from St. Joseph College, Rensselaer, Indiana in 1969.

In 1985, he was transferred to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields, where he served as Treasurer. Because of his musical skills, Mark was named Associate Liturgy Director for the Province in 1988.

He was Director of Music at St. Clare of Montefalco Parish, Chicago, from 1991 to 1993 and again, following a brief return to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, from 1994 to 1999.

In 1999 Mark was again transferred to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, where he worked in the offices of the Augustinian Guild. He died suddenly in his room at Tolentine February 24, 2003.

Mark will be remembered for his musical talent. He was a skilled organist and pianist. His deep resounding singing voice was a regular contribution to liturgical celebrations with the seniors of Mercy Residence at Tolentine, where he also provided musical entertainment from time to time. His music was valued by the friars present at various Province meetings and gatherings.

His sense of humor often brought smiles to those who knew him. He was patient and cheerful even when faced with health complications related to diabetes. His generous willingness to help out in any way was appreciated by all.


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