Father Landelin Marvin Robling, OSB
Monk of Saint John's Abbey
Professed: July 11, 1949
Ordained: June 7, 1952
Died: July 15, 2006
Monk, Priest, Missionary, Chaplain and Guestmaster
Marvin Robling was born of Benedict and Freida (Neuman) Robling on a farm in Victoria, Minnesota. He was the oldest of five children and he attended elementary school in Victoria, first in the public school and then in St. Victoria Catholic School run by Benedictine Sisters. The Sisters encouraged him to become a priest. His pastor, Father Ives Beu, OFM, took him for his first visit to Saint John's and brought him to see Abbot Alcuin Deutsch, OSB. He was immediately registered to attend Saint John's Preparatory School in the fall of 1940.
In Victoria, Marvin had not been exposed to as many sports as Saint John's had to offer. He notes in his autobiography that he played all but excelled at none. In May 1945, he made his application for the novitiate and was invested on July 10. He received the name of Landelin. After completing a traditional course of studies for a priesthood student, he was ordained on June 7, 1952, by Bishop Peter W. Bartholome.
Father Landelin began a life-long ministry working with people. His first assignment was as assistant pastor at the Church of Seven Dolors, Albany, Minnesota, from 1952 to 1958.
Abbot Baldwin Dworschak, OSB, sent Landelin to our mission in Puerto Rico, Abad?a de San Antonio Abad. Landelin taught English and Latin at the Colegio Antonio Abad, in Humacao, for a year and then became pastor of the large Humacao parish of Dulce Nombre de Jes?s for seventeen years from 1959 to 1976. While pastor he built little churches in the country and started a Newman Club in the regional college of the University of Puerto Rico. From 1976 to 1979 he served as prior of the monastery of San Antonio Abad and was principal of the school for a year.
After twenty-one years in the missions, Father Landelin returned to Saint John's for a three-month sabbatical and entered a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program at Metropolitan Medical Center in Minneapolis. He became associate pastor at St. Augustine Parish in St. Cloud for two years and then served for three years at St. Boniface Parish in Hastings, Minnesota. He was made pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Richmond in 1985. In 1991 Landelin had quintuple bypass surgery. After recovery, he became pastor of St. Martin's Church, St. Martin, and Immaculate Conception Church, New Munich, in 1992.
In 1997 Father Landelin was named parochial vicar of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Hastings until 2001. Upon returning to the abbey he was appointed Guestmaster. Additionally he worked many weekends with a parish renewal program called "Koinoia," and served as chaplain to the retired and elderly Benedictine sisters at St. Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud, until his health prevented continuing that ministry.
Father Landelin, ever gracious and gentle, served people in all their needs: for education, consolation, prayer and ritual. Father Landelin said: "I am a priest. That's my being — being of service to others, being there for people, helping them to discover who they are." In 1992 Abbot Jerome Theisen, OSB, used a litany of adjectives to describe Father Landelin's pastoral style on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of ordination: "Kind, friendly, prayerful, warm-hearted, caring, nurturing, conscientious, dedicated, dependable, and serious."
Landelin continued to struggle with heart and lung difficulties after his retirement in St. Raphael's Hall where his calm and cheerful demeanor endeared him to all. He retained his pastoral heart to the end by assisting with guests for the Sesquicentennial celebrations this spring and summer. He died within four days of renewing his vows on the 60th anniversary of his profession.
Father Landelin died at Collegeville early in the afternoon on July 15, 2006. He is survived by his brother Wallace of Chaska, and his sister Joanne Krueger of Winsted, Minnesota.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Father Landelin at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, July 21, 2006, in Saint John's Abbey Church with interment in Saint John's Cemetery following the service.
We ask each community member to offer two Masses according to the manner of his participation in the priesthood of Christ. We commend our brother, Landelin, to your prayers.
Abbot John Klassen OSB, and the monks of Saint John's Abbey.