Brother Oblate Timothy Balk, O.S.B.
March 21, 1931 - April 25, 2014
At 7:25 p.m. our Brother Oblate Timothy Balk, O.S.B. surrendered his soul to
his creator at the Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside after a few years of
a prolonged illness.
Brother Oblate Timothy (Frits Joseph Balk) was born March 21, 1931 in the
city of Amersfoort, The Netherlands, to Hendrikus-Frederikus Balk and
Geertruida Hendrika van den Bogert. He was the tenth of eleven children
(six sisters and four brothers) to a very devout Catholic family who were
very involved in the Church. While growing up, his parents supported their
family through their own self-owned laundry business, which kept the whole
family quite busy.
Brother Timothy attended Catholic schools until he was a junior in high
school, at which time he enrolled in a vocational training program to pursue
a trade in furniture building. After completing his training, he obtained
an apprenticeship with a pipe-organ company, where he spent three years
learning the design, drafting and construction aspects of the pipe organ.
Subsequent to completing his apprenticeship, he obtained a position with
another organ company, a position he held until coming to the United States
in the early 1950's, where he felt the career prospects would be more
In 1957 Brother Timothy became a member of St. Benedict's Abbey at Benet
Lake, Wisconsin, where he remained until 1964. He entered the Novitiate on
August 27, 1958 and on August 28, 1959 professed Simple Vows. From 1959
through 1961 Brother Timothy studied Philosophy and Theology at the major
seminary. On August 28, 1962, he professed Solemn Vows . He progressed
through the minor orders of Tonsure (December 30, 1962). Doorkeeper
(December 31, 1962, and Lector, Exorcist and Acoloyte (January 1, 1963).
He was ordained to the Subdiaconate on February 2, 1963 and Diaconate on
June 8, 1963 by the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the
Most Reverend Roman Tailskid (at which time he also became a United States
In 1964 during a time of uncertainty he sought and received dispensation
from his vows. In 1965 he met and married Carmen Lucy Rodriguez after a
short courtship. The marriage produced two sons, Joseph and Frederic. In
1980 his wife obtained a civil divorce.
In the years following his dispensation from vows he worked with various
organ companies as a draftsman (1964-1982), did maintenance work for St.
Benedict's Abbey in Wisconsin (1982-1983), warehouse assistant (1983-1984),
woodworking (1984-1987) and finally draftsman for Moller Organ company
In 1992 he sought re-admittance to monastic life at Prince of Peace Abbey
as a Claustral Oblate. He was invested as Candidate Oblate on August 17,
1994 and professed Final Oblation February 16, 1996.
Brother Timothy was assigned as Refectorian and held this position for many
years. He was never idle and could be found working in the wood shop where
he designed and executed many fine pieces of furniture, namely desks. His
skills in music was used as he was one of the organist for the Divine Office
and for community liturgies. He often enjoyed playing the piano during
recreation periods--executing the classical as well as popular tunes.
Although he could be very blunt with individuals and preferred not to be
thanked or praised for his abilities and talents, his heart was always moved
where he saw a need. He would state that he didn't perform his talents for
the praise of people but only wished them to glorify God. His sharpness
would become more mild and pleasant with age as he became more deeply
involved in his spiritual life.
He was well aware of his imperfections and balanced them with his devotional
practices, which were centered in the Holy Eucharist, devotion to the
Blessed Mother of God, the Rosary and of course the Divine Office.
Unable to perform some of his unusual talents in these later years, Brother
Timothy began to explore the monastery grounds and often was found among the
guests in the retreat area. He endeared himself to many but also made
others a bit nervous. But in his suffering, from Cancer, he was more
sensitive to the sufferings and more understanding of the imperfections of
Due to his failing health he was admitted to a Life House Health Care Center
An endearing quality that Brother Timothy had, probably because of his
native frankness, is that never minced words. When he said "yes", he meant
"yes", etc. He was also ready to insist that he was from Holland, but from
The Netherlands. Shortly before he got used to the skilled nursing
facility, he remarked that, "People die here, not from old age, but from
Brother Timothy was a faithful and observant monk. He was always willing to
do what he was asked and in his waning years grew ever more patient with his
suffering, which was joined to that of his Beloved Lord. May now share in
the Lord's kingdom.
Brother Timothy is survived by his Benedictine brother monks, his two sons
and their wives, Joseph (Marta) and Frederick (Giselle); his grandchildren
Jose, Marta Guadalupe, Crystal, Douglas and Amy.
The Vigil Service will be celebrated at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 1, 2014
in the Abbey Church and the Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at
11:00 a.m. on Friday, May 2, 2014. Burial will follow immediately in the
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace!
Fr. Abbot Charles Wright, O.S.B. and Community.