Father Augustine Fox, O.S.B. name changes
Father Augustine Fox, O.S.B. name changes
  1. John Peter Fuchs-baptismal name
  2. Peter Fuchs-name used as a student at Conception College in Conception, MO; Conception College was operated by the Benedictine Monks of Conception Abbey. According to information from the Conception Abbey Archives, Peter attended both high school (1891-95) and college (1895-96) there, contrary to what the obituary states (high school in Washington).
  3. Augustine John Fuchs, OSB-John Peter Fuchs was give the name of Augustine when he became a Benedictine monk of St. Gall’s Priory in Devils Lake, ND, which became St. Mary’s Abbey, Richardton, ND, which became Assumption Abbey, Richardton, ND.
  4. Augustine John Fuchs, OSB-became Augustine John Fox, OSB, probably in the late teens of the last Century. He was appointed Rector of St. Mary’s College in Richardton in 1919. The 1920 catalog of St. Mary’s College lists him as Augustine Fox (there is no 1919 catalog extant); for the first time, the official list of Richardton monks for 1922 (info as of Fall of 1921) lists him as Fox. I could find no evidence in his file of exactly when he started to use Fox instead of Fuchs, maybe during the World War I period when some German-Americans went to the English translations of their name to avoid Anti-German prejudice.

A relative of his, who was also a member of St. Mary’s Abbey-Assumption Abbey, Brother Aloysius Nicholas Fuchs, OSB, used the Fuchs last name all his life.

One of the reasons (maybe the main one) why Fr. Augustine Fuchs was sent to study philosophy & theology at Einsiedeln Abbey in Switzerland was because of the presence there of the art historian and art teacher, Father Albert Kuhn, 0SB. Augustine’s superior, Vincent Wehrle, must have known of Augustine’s talent in painting and wanted to foster it-hence sending him to his (Wehrle’s) own former monastery for his studies.

Several of Fr. Augustine’s paintings are hanging in the main corridor-first floor east wing at the Abbey. There are a few others in the Abbey Museum. We have no idea how many hundreds of “holy” paintings he did in his lifetime; about ten or fifteen years ago someone donated his painting of Christ and the Children to the Abbey-it is in the Abbey Museum.

If I can be of further assistance, let me know.

Fr. Denis Fournier, OSB
Assumption Abbey Archives

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