Order of Premontre, Premonstratensians, Norbertines, and White Canons

R. D. Ferdinand F. DuPont, O. Praem.

Birth: April 28, 1899

Death: March 16, 1987

House: St. Norbert Abbey

Our brother Ferdinand DuPont was born in Rotterdam , Holland in 1899.  He and his family immigrated to the United States in 1910 and settled immediately in Butler, Montana.  In 1918 the family moved to Kimberly, Wisconsin, where Ferdinand worked as a draftsman in the Paper Mill and Real Estate Company until 1925.  That same year he received his high school diploma, having begun work on it through correspondence with St. Norbert High.  Ferdinand was vested as a novice in 1927 and began teaching at the college in 1930, becoming registrar when he was solemnly professed in 1932, and remained registrar until 1953.

After ordination in 1934 until 1944, he acted as chaplain at St. Joseph Academy, the State Reformatory, Hickory Grove Sanatorium, and Our Lady of Charity Convent, during which time he published a 53 page monograph on youth counseling.

1932 marked the beginning of summer school programs at the college.  Ferdinand was instrumental, as registrar, in aiding hundred of nuns from across the country to earn college degrees.

Ferdinand was appointed associate pastor to St. Willibrord in Chicago in 1953, then pastor at St. Louis in Dykesville in 1955, and finally pastor of St. Willibrord in 1959.  Upon completion of his pastorship, and after a much-deserved trip to the Holy Land, he was appointed chaplain of the infirmary and retired sisters at Holy Family Convent at Alverno.

During Abbot Pennings’s middle years, Ferdinand served as part-time secretary and translated into English all of the letters Pennings had written to his relatives in Holland.  From the years 1940 until 1965 he was a member of the Board of Supervisors for religious sisters’ communities.  He was also the mentor for the local “Cell Movement,” which met every Tuesday afternoon at St. Catherine’s Bookshop, to discuss papal encyclicals, liturgy, and the foundations for good Christian living.  Young Ben Mackin and Brendan McKeough were a part of the movement and discerned their vocations there.

Ferdinand, a rigid, faithful, orthodox, and well-informed confrere, retired to the abbey in 1982, at the age of 83, still going strong and writing articles on mysticism or spirituality. 

As Ferdinand’s health began to fail and with his sincere desire to remain at the abbey, Xanten Wing was turned into a nursing center to care for the infirm.  He died on Monday, March 16, 1987 at the age of 87.

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