The Humble Sanctity of Rev

(formerly Dom) Tibor Szende


The Reverend Tibor Szende, like any humble contemplative monk, and indeed like many ex-monks, often portrayed himself as reluctant to talk about his personal struggles in virtue and holiness and sanctity (except in homilies), but out of the blue, on one to some extent rare occasion, while walking over the fields with his female secretary, he was heard to relate of his days at Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight and of how for the monks of Quarr Abbey, one of the few approved official recreations (his own recreation he said was sneaking out and watching daytime TV in the guest accommodation) consisted of a group of monks walking around the grounds of the monastery.

On this occasion with his female secretary, Dom, (or Rev) Tibor, who was  normally extremely reticent about the full extent of his charity and kindness, was heard to tell of a rather simple-minded member of the Quarr monastic community who accompanied Dom Tibor and the other monks on their walk around the grounds of Quarr Abbey. Dom, or Rev, or Fr Tibor shared how he, the Rev Szende (Dom Tibor as he was then) had behaved and he was heard to boast of how the other humble monk was tricked into walking through mud and ditch and puddle, while afterwards a gate was opened so that Dom Tibor OSB could walk through without having to step in that puddle or ditch or mud.

Rev Szende’s Secretary was appointed Diocesan Representative for Spiritual Direction, so Tibor had himself appointed as clergy representative for Spiritual Direction, despite the fact that he had no recognised training or qualification in Spiritual Direction. Apparently he said when he has a woman for one-one, he “just does what comes naturally”.

There was a funeral in 2014 which Rev Tibor attended and at which he actually acted as co-Celebrant. The readings chosen for the funeral were Apocalypse 22:4-5, Psalm 90 (91) and Luke 29-31.

After the funeral the Rev Tibor Szende approached the mourner who had chosen the readings and asked him where the readings came from, as Rev Szende seemed to be totally unfamiliar with them.

The readings in fact came from the Friday Office of the Liturgy of Hours, otherwise known as the Divine Office, the official prayers of the Roman Catholic Church, which bishops and priests and deacons and monks and nuns are required to recite every week of their lives and which many devout laity also recite every week. Many, especially clergy, who do recite them each week, in accordance with canon law, know them by heart!