In Memoriam: Rev. Frank Bredeweg, CSB
The Rev. Frank Bredeweg, CSB, former president of the University of St. Thomas, died peacefully on Good Friday, April 10, 2009, at age 81. Fr. Bredeweg became acting president on August 1, 1985, was named the fifth University president on January 15, 1985 and served until June 1988.
The Funeral Mass for Fr. Bredeweg will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 21 at the Catholic Central High School in Detroit. A Celebration of Life will follow the Mass. A Memorial Mass on the UST campus will be scheduled for a later date.
Fr. Bredeweg was born January 13, 1928. He had a career as a certified public accountant before discerning his priestly vocation, and exchanged the business world for the Basilian seminary in 1959 when he was 31. Ordained in December of 1964, he arrived the following year from the University of Toronto to serve the University of St. Thomas in Houston for four years as treasurer and controller.
During the 1970s early 1980s, he consulted with Catholic universities throughout the United States and Canada as a financial planner and manager. He served as the director of the Basilian Center for Financial Management and the director of special projects for the National Catholic Education Association.
During the economic downturn of the mid 1980s, Fr. Bredeweg’s presidency was dominated with financial pressures. He was charged with making difficult decisions and employed his business acumen to help improve the financial condition and refocus the University’s operations. On a lighter note, George Sweeny, UST Board of Directors chairman of the 1985 presidential search committee, remarked at the time, “He sure plays a mean piano.”
Fr. Ted Baenziger, CSB, met Fr. Bredeweg during his post in Washington D.C. with the National Education Association. Fr. Baenziger recalled Fr. Bredeweg, a fellow Detroit native, for his hospitality.
“Fr. Bredeweg was well liked, always gracious and had an incredible memory for names. If he met you, he knew you. He was an excellent musician, and he could play every show tune by heart.”
Please remember Fr. Bredeweg, his sister, Marian Carbary, nephew Bill Carbary and other family members in your thoughts and prayers.