Father Vollkommer, formerly of Belmont Abbey, passes away
CHAPIN, S.C. — Father Andrew J. Vollkommer, 60, of Chapin, S.C. died Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016.
A vigil and wake will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2. Both will be celebrated at Our Lady of the Lake Church, 195 Amicks Ferry Road in Chapin.
Born in Oceanside, N.Y., June 26, 1955, he was the son of the late Joseph and Florence Vollkommer. He graduated from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and a minor in theology. He entered the Benedictine order in 1978 and professed first vows in 1979. He taught sociology at Belmont Abbey College and was director of religious education at Queen of the Apostles Church in Belmont. In 1982, he began theological studies for the priesthood at Saint John's Abbey and School of Theology in Collegeville, Minn. He earned a Master of Arts in religious education with distinction and a Master of Divinity with honors from Saint John's University in Collegeville.
He was ordained to the priesthood on June 28, 1986. Father Vollkommer pursued the Degree of Master of Arts in Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., in 1987-1988 and upon completion of his advanced theological studies, returned to Gastonia, where he served at St. Michael the Archangel Church from 1988 to 1993. He also served as a member of the Presbyteral Council in the Diocese of Charlotte and on the diocesan liturgical commission.
In 1993, feeling that he was called more to a life as a parish priest, he petitioned the Holy See and was accepted by South Carolina Bishop David B. Thompson and was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Columbia, S.C., and then to Our Lady of the Lake Church, where he served continuously until his death. He celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on May 29, 2013, at a Solemn High Mass at Our Lady of the Lake Church. Following the celebration of his jubilee, he participated in a program of spiritual renewal and sabbatical for priests in the Holy Land on the Gospel of Mark and Biblical Archeology and then in Mexico City studying in an Intermediate Spanish program specifically for parish priests, which was useful to the parish in expanding its outreach to the growing Latino community of the area.
Father Vollkommer loved being a priest and serving the Church. He enjoyed traveling and his cars, and embraced many different cultures. He is survived by sisters, Carol Morris (Alex) of Sarasota, Fla., and Mary Cutler (Bill) of Jacksonville, Fla.; many nieces and nephews, including those whom he grew up with, Christine, Jayni and Jack; and his beloved cats, Sophie, Ralphie and Bruno.
The family suggest memorials be made to Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church Building Fund, 195 Amicks Ferry Road, Chapin, SC 29036. Memories and condolence messages may be shared with the family at www.whitakerfuneralhome.com.
Whitaker Funeral Home of Chapin was in charge of the arrangements.