Father Mel Patton OSB, a monk and priest of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, was born on 2 March 1925. Upon graduation from high school in 1944, he enlisted in the United States Army, serving in the European Theater for the last two years of World War II. He received the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
Father Mel was an accomplished pianist, organist, and choir director. He professed his simple monastic vows on 31 July 1953 and solemn vows on 6 August 1956, and he was ordained to the priesthood on 22 September 1956. He served for many years in the classroom at Saint Meinrad, as well as in a series of additional assignments in other religious communities.
Father Mel died peacefully on 6 September 2018 in the monastery infirmary at the age of 93. May he rest in the peace of Christ!