Press Release
St. Procopius Abbey
5601 College Road
Lisle, Ill. 60532
(630) 969-6410
June 8, 2005
Contact Person: Rev. James Flint, O.S.B. For Immediate Release

Father Robert Sum to be Ordained by Archbishop Daniel Kucera

Simple Photographic Portrait of Robert Sum, O.S.B.

Father Robert Sum, O.S.B., of St. Procopius Abbey, Lisle, Illinois, will be ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera, O.S.B., in the Abbey church on Saturday, July 2, 2005, at 10:00 A.M. He will preside for the first time at the community Mass the next day, Sunday, July 3, 2005, at 11:00 A.M.

Born 44 years ago in Chicago, Father Robert grew up in Our Lady of the Wayside Parish in suburban Arlington Heights. After graduating from Rolling Meadows High School in 1979, he began studies in computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There he remained nearly a dozen years, obtaining the Bachelor of Science degree in 1983, the Master of Science degree in 1985, and the Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1991. He also participated in a number of the religious and musical programs associated with the Newman Center on the U of I campus, and during this time he first contacted St. Procopius Abbey about the possibility of a monastic vocation.

After finishing his studies, Father Robert took a position as a research computer scientist at the General Electric Corporate Research & Development Center in Schenectady, New York. He became active with music and other ministry programs at two Schenectady parishes, St. Paul the Apostle and Our Lady of Fatima.

In August 1997, Father Robert entered St. Procopius Abbey. During his novitiate, he assisted with the music program at Benet Academy. After making temporary profession in 1998, Father Robert became computer advisor for the monks of the Abbey and studied philosophy at Benedictine University. He also served as the school's director of music ministry, coordinating the musical aspects of Sunday liturgies and directing the chapel choir. He has composed a number of musical pieces and arrangements, some of which have been performed at Benedictine University and Benet Academy. On occasion, he has played the saxophone or flute at monastic liturgies.

In 2001, Father Robert began theological studies at St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He has finished all the requirements for ordination and plans in the next year to complete the work for a Master of Arts in Liturgical Studies degree.

As well as resuming his role of computer advisor at the Abbey, Father Robert has been assigned to assist with the campus ministry program at Benedictine University.

Archbishop Daniel, who will be ordaining Father Robert, professed his vows as a monk of St. Procopius Abbey in 1944. After earning a doctorate in education, he became President of St. Procopius College in 1959. Chosen by the monastic community as its fifth abbot in 1964, he oversaw the construction of the new Abbey church and monastery.

Leaving the abbatial office in 1971, Archbishop Daniel again served as president of the College. He was ordained bishop in 1977, serving first as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois, then as Bishop of Salina, Kansas, and finally as Archbishop of Dubuque, Iowa. He retired in 1995.

Archbishop Daniel's lifetime of labor for the good of the monastery, its schools, and the universal Church was acknowledged and honored several years ago by the naming of the new performing arts center at Benet Academy in honor of his patron, St. Daniel the Prophet.