Father Yender, OSB, Former Marmion Prior, Dies
July 20, 2017

AURORA—Father Basil Yender, OSB, 74, a Benedictine monk of Marmion Abbey, here, died July 16, 2017, after suffering a long illness.

Father Basil was born on June 8, 1943, and was baptized Ronald at St. Brendan Church in Chicago. After attending St. Dorothy Church grade school in Chicago, he attended Marmion Military Academy in Aurora, and graduated in 1961.

He entered Marmion Abbey as a novice in 1962 and professed his vows as a monk of Marmion on Aug. 10, 1963. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy at Saint Procopius College. Father Basil then did his studies for the priesthood at St. Procopius Seminary and later at the Pontificium Athenaeum Anselmianum, Rome, Italy, receiving a Licentiate in Sacred Theology.

He was ordained a priest on Aug, 7, 1971. In 1975 he earned a master’s degree in secondary school administration from DePaul University, Chicago.

After ordination Father Basil taught mathematics and theology at Marmion Academy and was instrumental in overseeing Marmion’s adoption of computer technology. He also served as a dormitory prefect for many years and was academic dean from 1975-1988.

In 1988 he was appointed headmaster of the academy, guiding the school through the significant change of mandatory to optional Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, established the Leadership Education and Development alternate program, and the first campus ministry and Kairos retreat programs.

He strengthened the academic standards of the school and increased the number of advanced placement and elective courses. He introduced the varsity sports of soccer and wrestling.

He also oversaw the phasing out of the academy’s residential program toward the end of his tenure. He stepped down from the position of headmaster in 2003.

After a one year sabbatical to study Sacred Scripture in the Holy Land and in Rome, Father Basil returned to Marmion to continue to teach theology at the academy.

He was also appointed prior of the Abbey in 2004, a position he held until 2016, when he had to step down due to his increasingly poor health.

During his time as prior, he served on the Abbey Council. Father Basil taught junior monks Scripture and the Psalms and served for a brief time as novice and junior master.

Throughout his life Father Basil loved to teach. He also devoted himself to work around the academy and abbey, tending to the flowers and landscaping.

He is survived by members of his monastic community and his brother George (Gayle). He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Adeline (Seban) and by his sister Kathleen.

Visitation will be 4-9 p.m. in the Abbey Church at 850 Butterfield Road, with the Office of the Dead prayed at 6:30 p.m. Visitation will continue on Saturday, July 22, from 9 a.m.until the funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow in the Marmion Abbey Cemetery.