Paul Nahlen

From Wikitia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Right Reverend

Paul Nahlen

Order of Saint Benedict
Native name
Martin Nahlen
ElectedMarch 23, 1939
OrdinationApril 10, 1908
by Bishop John B. Morris
Personal details
Born(1882-11-20)November 20, 1882
Conway, Arkansas
DiedAugust 31, 1957(1957-08-31) (aged 74)
Little Rock, Arkansas
BuriedSubiaco Abbey
DenominationRoman Catholic
ParentsFrederick Nahlen and Catherine Selborn
ProfessionBenedictine Monk

Paul Nahlen (November 20, 1882 Conway, Arkansas – August 31, 1957 Little Rock, Arkansas) was a Benedictine monk and the third Abbot of Subiaco Abbey (Arkansas)|Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas.

Early life

Martin Nahlen was born in Conway, Arkansas, on November 20, 1882, the son of Frederick Nahlen and Catherine Selborn. He attended St. Joseph parochial school in Conway, and enrolled as a high school student at Subiaco Academy, graduating in 1900.[1]

Monk and Priest

He made his monastic profession of vows on November 11, 1903, receiving the name Paul Maria, and was ordained to the priesthood by John_Morris_(bishop)|Bishop John B. Morris on April 10, 1908. A month after his ordination he was sent to study at the Spencerian School of Business in Louisville, Kentucky, and on his return was made a prefect of discipline and head of the commercial course at Subiaco Academy.

In the spring of 1927, Father Paul was assigned to establish a school for boys inCorpus Christi, Texas. In 1927, when the school opened, he was made its first president. He held this post until 1939, when he returned to Subiaco Abbey (Arkansas)|Subiaco Abbey for the election of a new Abbot.[2]


On March 23, 1939, Father Paul was elected the third Abbot of Subiaco Abbey (Arkansas)|Subiaco Abbey. His immediate challenge was the crushing debt left from the disastrous fire of 1927 that had destroyed most of the monastery. He initiated a widespread public appeal through his own correspondence and through a newsletter, The Abbey Message, inaugurated in 1940.[3] The debt was retired by the mid-1940s and he moved on to the next major goal, the construction of a church to replace the one lost in the fire. This church was completed in 1959, a year and a half after his death.[4]

Final years

In November, 1956, surgery revealed that Abbot Paul had malignant cancer, and after months of treatment and suffering, he died in St. Vincent’s Infirmary in Little Rock on August 31, 1957.[5][6]


Abbot Paul Nehlen was noted as a prominent Christian leader in the state of Arkansas during his years of service.[7] He also:

  • Served as the third Abbot and Ordinary_(church_officer)#Catholic_usage|Ordinary of Subiaco Abbey (Arkansas)|Subiaco Abbey. Under his leadership, monks would be assigned to found and care for Parish_(Catholic_Church)|Catholic Churches across three dioceses and two states (Texas and Arkansas). The monastic community had grown to become the 47th largest Benedictine Abbey in the world with 81 priests, 27 lay Brother_(Christian)|brothers and novices, and 9 seminarians for the clericate.[8][9]
  • Served as the first president of Corpus Christi College Academy in Corpus_Christi,Corpus Christi, Texas, from 1927-1939. This institution was founded in 1927, closed in 1972, and served a vital service for the education of young men in south Texas.[10][11][12][13]
  • In addition to being a founding member of the Subiaco Academy alumni association and building the Alumni Hall to expand the campus of Subiaco Academy into an international college-prep academy,[14] he was also responsible for building the church for Subiaco Abbey (Arkansas)|Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas. The Church is built in the style of Romanesque Revival architecture in an Italian manner and designed by E. Brielmaier and Sons. With a 125 foot square bell tower, it features numerous stained glass windows manufactured by the Franz_Mayer_%26_Co.|Franz Mayer company from Munich, Germany. At the time of its completion, this church was the largest Catholic Church in the state of Arkansas, was blessed by Pope Pius XII, and was completed in 1959.[15] Today it serves not only Roman Catholics, but also as an important ecumenical place of worship for events with the Arkansas Interfaith Conference.[16]
  • Was partially responsible for unmasking the famous Great Imposter who real name was Ferdinand Waldo Demara. This specific episode is recounted by Robert_Crichton_(novelist)|Robert Crichton in his 1959 book entitled The Great Imposter and later made into a movie featuring Tony Curtis as Demara.[17]

External links


  1. O'Reilly
  2. Assenmacher, pp. 308-310
  3. The Abbey Message, September, 1957
  4. Subiaco Abbey Necrology
  5. Subiaco Abbey Necrology
  6. Arkansas Guardian Archives, September 6, 1957, pp. 1-2
  7. Arkansas Guardian Archives, September 6, 1957, pp. 1-2
  8. Arkansas Guardian Archives, p. 2
  9. Catalogus Monasteriorum O.S.B.
  10. Arkansas Guardian Archives, September 6, 1957, p. 2
  11. McGloin
  12. Schreiber
  13. Schmitz
  14. Arkansas Guardian Archives, September 6, 1957, p. 2
  15. Sutherland, pp. 104-105
  16. Duerr
  17. Chrichton, pp. 73-80

This article "Paul Nahlen" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.