Father Robert Fucheck '57 Honored

November 18, 2010

Father RobertThe Florida Benedictine Spirit Award was presented to Father Robert V. Fucheck ’57 during the Saturday luncheon of the 2010 Saint Leo Prep and Holy Name Reunion Weekend on November 13.

The Florida Benedictine Spirit Award was established in 2006 by Saint Leo Abbey, Holy Name Monastery and Saint Leo University, the three Benedictine-founded communities of Saint Leo, Florida. The award recognizes individuals with longstanding connections to one or more of Florida’s Benedictine communities. They may be alumni of Saint Leo College Preparatory School, Holy Name Academy, or Saint Leo Junior College, or the college or university. Whatever the particular connection, Florida Benedictine Spirit Award laureates all live out of the values first articulated 1,500 years ago by Saints Benedict and Scholastica. And, they have demonstrated uncommon and sustained devotion to one or more of our three institutions.

The first Florida Benedictine Spirit Award was conferred upon Bud ’52 and Arlene ’88 McKechnie. Since then, the award has been given to Eddie Herrmann ’53 and Margaret Herrmann Beaumont ’53, Walter Plazewski ’54, and John Hughes ’54.

The selection of these good people has made the task of selecting the Benedictine Spirit Laureate easy and difficult at the same time. Easy, because they serve as clear examples of the kind of persons who have exemplified the Florida Benedictine Spirit. Difficult, because the standard was set so high from the start.

Father Robert V. Fucheck has loved and served our Benedictine communities in one capacity or another his entire adult life. Bob Fucheck, a devout young man from Masaryktown, entered the freshman class at Saint Leo Prep in 1954. He was a good student and—after he gained eight inches in height and 40 pounds in weight—one of the standout players on the football squad. He was a loyal friend to his to his classmates and, as he progressed through to graduation in 1957, a kindly friend and mentor to the younger classes. Father Fucheck showed a gift for kindness, the gift of good listening and the gift of giving good counsel.

Father Fucheck was the kind of Saint Leo College Prep graduate who would have succeeded in whatever he set out to do. But his real gift was a calling to the priesthood, as clear a call as the Lord, in His goodness, has ever allowed us to witness. Father Fucheck answered that call and he has served his Church, his fellow human beings, and his Blessed Lord with a joy that is there for all to see, to this day.

Father Fucheck entered Saint Leo Abbey after novitiate Abbot Marion sent him to college and theology studies, and then called him back to the Abbey in 1965, mentoring his completion of theology studies, and ordaining him to the priesthood on May 1, 1966. Father Fucheck then taught at Saint Leo, served as dean of men and soccer coach, and served the Abbey as Prior and administrator. In those capacities he also served as a member of the College’s Board of Trustees.

In 1970, Father Fucheck received his first experience in pastoral ministry, assigned by the Abbey to the pastorate of Saint Anthony’s Church in San Antonio. It was then that he realized his true calling was pastoral ministry, and over time began service in a succession of parishes in the Diocese of Orlando, beginning as associate pastor of Saint Mary Magdelan in Winter Park and concluding with the parish he served in The Villages for 17 years, Saint Timothy’s. There, he followed in the footsteps of his first Benedictine Abbott, Father Francis Sadlier. Like Abbott Francis, Father Fucheck erected a beautiful, soaring church to the glory of God and the service of all.

Wherever God has taken him, as a monk, an educator, a coach, pastor, administrator and now, a retired priest helping wherever he is needed, he lives the Benedictine motto, borrowed from the Letter of Saint Peter: “In all things, may God be glorified.”