Memory Eternal! - V. Rev Daniel Montgomery
St. George was saddened to learn of the repose of one of its former pastors, the Very Reverend Daniel Montgomery, on August 12th. Fr. Daniel and his wife Prifteresha Maria (who predeceased Fr. Daniel in November 8, 2016) served the St. George parish for 11 years beginning in 1976. Memory Eternal!
Please go to our Parish History section; https://stgeorgetrumbull.org/parish_history - you can find, about 1/2 way down, a small description of the parish's history for Fr. Daniel's time at St. George.
In Memoriam: Rev. Daniel Binney Montgomery 1924-2020
When Father Daniel was informed that he was dying, he smiled and replied calmly, “Well, I’ve had a good run.” (96 years) “I’m curious to see what comes next!” His faith imbued him with an inspiring serenity as he faced his final month of life. And what a life it was.
Born in Bryn Mawr, PA to an old Quaker family, he enjoyed a private education at the Haverford School until 1942, when he enlisted in the Army Air Force. Her served during WWII in Europe as a radio operator in the Ninth Tactical Air Force and later in the First Franco-American Tactical Air Force, participating in seven campaigns--among them the Normandy campaign and the Battle of the Bulge.
After the war he went to Mexico, graduating from Mexico City College--now, Universidad de las Américas, with a degree in history. In 1947 he married María Luisa Tamborrel (1925-2016) and enjoyed a marriage that lasted sixty-nine years. The couple had three children: Dr. Sylvia Montgomery Shaw, Louise Montgomery Snyder (who died in 2018), and Robert A. Montgomery who served his country with distinction with several posts in Asia and in Afghanistan. Father Daniel was blessed with twelve grandchildren, and in the last two years of his life with four great grandsons.
He was a scholar, an educator, a writer, a lecturer, and a devoted priest. He had a facility for languages, a Master’s degree in Spanish literature, published articles on Eastern Christian mysticism, and two books on Buddhism. He was co-translator of The Lotus Sutra from Chinese to English. His best-known work, Fire in the Lotus, was published in England in 1991 and was later translated into Spanish. But perhaps his greatest legacy springs from his quest for God.
That search took him to Princeton University Seminary, Philadelphia Lutheran Seminary, and finally to private studies with the Orthodox bishop who ordained him. Starting in 1956 Father Daniel served parishes in Vicksburg, Mississippi; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Beaumont, Texas; Trumbull, Connecticut, and Kerrville, Texas. Even during his years as an educator, when he was department chair of foreign languages at Valley Forge Military Academy and was awarded Outstanding Secondary Educator of America (1975), he served as chaplain to Orthodox cadets.
One of his Connecticut parishioners wrote to him on Easter in 2019, summing up the great value of his life: “You were a wonderful teacher. Your sermons provoked thought and discussion in our home. You nurtured our love and understanding of the Orthodox faith without being showy or pedantic. You encouraged us to be the best of ourselves and to find His peace in our hearts. You taught us about faith, kindness, tolerance, and hope. You guided our approach to the chalice with free, open, and humble hearts. You led by example. YOU were a gift to all of us!”
Father Daniel slept peacefully for the last three days of his earthly life. The day before he died, he suddenly opened his eyes, his face radiant with surprise and delight. Then he closed them for the last time. On the evening of August 12, 2020, he slipped gently into the Lord’s arms.