Obituary: Father Philip Wilson, 92, Portsmouth Abbey monk

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Father Philip Wilson, a monk of Portsmouth Abbey, died at the Village House in Newport on September 22, 2017. He was 92 years old.

Born in 1925 and named after his father Frederick, he grew up in Warren, RI, and was a lifelong enthusiast of local history. He graduated from the public school system and went on to get his Bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

After college, he entered the then Portsmouth Priory and was professed as a monk in 1948. He did his theological studies at Oxford and was ordained a priest in 1953. Since then he has lived a life of service to both the monastery and the school.

The 1990 Yearbook dedication had this to say about him: “Few have given more to Portsmouth Abbey than Dom Philip Wilson. For more than thirty years, he has served as teacher, mentor, and guide for generations of Abbey students. As head of the Christian Doctrine department, he has imparted a strong sense of values to countless young men. As a housemaster, his stern but fair counsel was often tempered by his sensitivity, selflessness, and compassion.”
In addition to his work in the school, Fr. Philip has served the monastery as Guest Master, Director of Oblates, and for over 40 years directed the Abbey’s liturgical celebrations as Master of Ceremonies.
His funeral Mass will be held in the Abbey church on Thursday, September 28th at 10:00am with burial following in the Abbey cemetery.

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