Monday, October 16, 2006
H/T to MARCI
By Sue Schulzetenberg
Catholic News Service
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (CNS) – With a twinkle in his eyes, a spring in his gestures and a cheerful, calming smile, Benedictine Father Angelo Zankl shines with his sunny perspective on life.
105-YEAR-OLD PRIEST IN RETIREMENT CENTER – Benedictine Father Angelo Zankl, a 105-year-old resident of St. John's Abbey Retirement Center in Collegeville, Minn., sits inside the facility in late July. Father Zankl has seen many changes in his 105 years, but says "he likes what he sees," and views life as a great thing. He says a positive attitude is one of the secrets to living a long and happy life. (CNS/St. Cloud Visitor)
"It is a great, great thing!" said the monk of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville about his long life in an interview with the St. Cloud Visitor, newspaper of the Diocese of St. Cloud.
He turned 105 in April, so his perspective comes with much experience.
In his lifetime there have been many changes. For example, he was 20 months old when Wilbur and Orville Wright made their historic Kitty Hawk, N.C., airplane flight.
And through life's changes, he has kept going with great energy. He celebrated the 80th jubilee of his ordination as a priest in June.
One object of his enthusiasm is God, whom Father Zankl credits as the one who provides a positive outlook on life.
God has "everything" to do with being a priest, he said. "He is all important."
Father Zankl's priestly assignments included being a pastor in Duluth, teacher and chaplain at a junior college in Crookston, chaplain of a nursing home in Cold Spring and chaplain to the Benedictine nuns in Duluth.
For the most part, Father Zankl has been blessed with good health and has bounced back from the bad.
"Like other people, I get sick and I get well again and just keep right on going," he said.
To keep going, he eats healthy foods. "I don't eat junk," he said.
He smoked a pipe until he was around 100 or 101 years old, but then gave it up, saying he didn't take a particular delight in it anymore.
As a pastime he enjoys reading "anything that comes along." If it's not good, he stops reading it. He especially enjoys reading newspapers.
"The important thing is you do what you like," he said. "When you can do what you like," a whole world of options opens up, he added.
One of Father Zankl's favorite things was teaching.
Educating children is important, he said. He taught everything about religion, which he described as a "wonderfully satisfying subject."
Along with teaching, he loved learning. After all, school was the place he learned what has carried him through many great years.
"That's where you learn life," he said.