Rev. Eugene Marshall, O.S.B.
Rev. Eugene Marshall, O.S.B., entered eternal life on Thursday, June 18, 2020. He was 97, and had completed 76 years of monastic profession and 70 years of priestly ministry. At the time of his death, he was the most senior and eldest member of the monastic community and the oldest Catholic priest in Oklahoma.
Father Eugene was born on Dec. 23, 1922, in Harrah to Walter and Catherine (Scybiak) Marshall. He was baptized two days later on Christmas Day and raised in St. Teresa Parish in Harrah. After completing high school in Harrah, he enrolled at nearby St. Gregory’s College in 1941, coming to the place that would be his permanent residence for the rest of his life.
Fr. Eugene professed vows as a monk of St. Gregory’s Abbey on July 11, 1944. He earned a BA in Philosophy at St. Gregory’s College and completed theological studies at St. Gregory’s Abbey. He was ordained to the priesthood on Feb. 25, 1950. He completed a BS in Library Science from the University of Oklahoma in 1953, and a MSEd in educational technology from the University of Southern California in 1971.
With the exception of one year when he was assigned to Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Los Angeles while completing studies at USC Los Angeles, Fr. Eugene faithfully lived his monastic commitment at St. Gregory’s Abbey. In the monastery he served at various times as Prior, Novice Master, Sacristan and as a member of the Senior Council. He was the long-time head librarian for St. Gregory’s High School and College, serving in that capacity from 1949 until his retirement in 1992. Without any previous experience he quickly adapted to the role, organizing, promoting and expanding the library collections and services to serve a growing academic institution. He also taught English and mathematics at St. Gregory’s High School. He served as Associate Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in East Los Angeles (1970-71), administrator of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Prague (1976), and as pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, in McLoud (1994-2006). When not otherwise assigned, he provided weekend ministry at parishes throughout Oklahoma.
Fr. Eugene exhibited the “good zeal that monks ought to foster with fervent love.” He was devoted to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and was known to pray at the tabernacle in the Abbey Church each time he began and ended his daily work periods. He likewise had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Never one to remain idle, he spent “free” time working in the Abbey vegetable garden, grafting pecan trees, operating the Abbey’s antique printing press, tending bees and extracting honey.
Fr. Eugene died peacefully, strengthened by the sacraments of the Church. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers George Marshall, Marion Marshall, Carl Marshall, and Bennie Marshall, his brother-in-law Vincent Marino and sister-in-law Earlene Marshall.
He is survived by the monks of St. Gregory’s Abbey, siblings Rosalie Marino of Harrah, Helen Jean an Leonard Schmitt of Garland, Texas, John and Harriet Marshall of Harrah, sisters-in-law Mary Marshall of Coppell, Texas, and Mary Marshall of Conroe, Texas, numerous nieces and nephews, and many friends. The monastic community expresses gratitude to the staff of Golden Rule Nursing Home who lovingly cared for him during the last seven months of his life.
Public viewing will be available at The Conference Center at St. Gregory’s Abbey in Shawnee from 1:30 to 4:30 on Saturday, June 20, and at St. Teresa Catholic Church in Harrah from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 21. Visitors are asked to wear face coverings. A Vigil Service will be held at St. Teresa Catholic Church, Harrah, at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 21. Mass for Christian Burial will be at St. Gregory’s Abbey at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 22. In keeping with safety protocols, attendance at the Funeral Mass is limited to family members and members of the clergy.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in honor of Fr. Eugene can be contributed to: The St. Gregory’s Abbey Benefit Trust, 1900 W. MacArthur, Shawnee OK 74804, and online at www.monksok.org.
To share memories, or to sign the guestbook online, go to www.cooperfuneral.com.