Brother Cornelius (Neil) Gomes, a monk of St. Benedict’s Monastery, born to Cornelius and Anna on February 7, 1925, in Wallington, New Jersey, died peacefully in Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on March 1, 2019, from complications due to pneumonia. He was 94 years of age.
While serving in the United States army during World War II, he was wounded by mortar shell shrapnel fighting in a battle in La Harve, France, and received a Purple Heart. After his military service, he entered St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, in 1957. Br. Neil later joined an early group of monks who founded St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado, and took his solemn profession there in 1963.
In 1979, after being given his dispensation, Neil met Mary Tafoya (Rikki), a former Carmelite nun whom he would marry in 1991. Upon the death of Neil’s wife, Neil was received back into the community at St. Benedict’s Monastery in 1997.
He is preceded in death by his older brothers Bob and John and older sisters Berta and Marie. He is survived by his sister Patricia Lyons of New Jersey and many nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws among the several States, Holland and South America.
The funeral mass will take place at St. Benedict’s Monastery on Saturday, March 16, at 10 a.m. followed by a reception. The viewing will be held on Friday, March 14 at the monastery from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. followed by Vespers.
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