Father Terrence J. Wager, O.S.B.


Father Terrence Wager, O.S.B., pastor of St. Columban Catholic Church in Yelm and St. Peter Mission Church in Tenino, passed away Feb. 22, 2010, following a long bout with cancer.

Fr. Terrence was born in Portland, Ore. and completed his elementary and secondary education there.

After spending a year at Portland University, he entered St. Martin’s College in 1955, earning a B.A. in 1960 and a masters in education and secondary administration in 1972 from St. Louis University.

Fr. Terrence took his solemn vows as a Benedictine monk in 1961. He then studied theology at Mt. Angel Abbey Seminary, St. Benedict, Ore., from 1960 to 1964, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1964 by Archbishop Connelly at St. James Cathedral, Seattle.

In 1984, Fr. Terrence became the parish priest of St. Columban and St. Peter Mission after being an assistant at Holy Rosary, Tacoma, and then pastor of Visitation in Tacoma.

Fr. Terrence supervised the construction of the new St. Columban church which was completed in June 1990. He and the parish had just begun a campaign to build a new religious education and activities center.

Fr. Terrence had a fondness for German shepherds, all of whom he taught to pray. He was an enthusiastic gardener, as well as a fine cook and an affable host.

His father had been an employee of the Union Pacific Railroad, and Fr. Terrence was fascinated by trains. They became his favorite form of transportation as well as a chief form of entertainment as model railroads.

Fr. Terrence’s love of art and music led him to the organ and the piano, and he spent many hours playing, as well as repairing, these instruments.

Fr. Terrence was born Terrence J. Wager, the son of John T. Wager and Irene Mary Wager, on July 1, 1936.

His older brother, Dean, passed away in 2000. Fr. Terrence is survived by his brother Kevin and his wife, Gerrie; two nephews, four nieces, and nine grand nephews and nieces.

Fr. Terrence is greatly missed by his confreres and family, by his former students, by his parishioners, past and present, and by his many friends.

Funeral Mass will be held 10 a.m. Friday, March 5, at St. Columban Catholic Church in Yelm, with the Rosary at 9:30 a.m. There will be a vigil at St. Martin’s that evening at 7 p.m. and the Mass for Christian Burial at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6 at St. Martin’s Abbey Church.


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