August 24, 2011 - Saturday, August 13th was the day our community said "Goodbye" to a loved confrere, Father Daniel Homan as he was laid to rest with his fellow monks who preceded him in life.
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As the hundreds of people came to the funeral Mass at St. Joseph's Church in Lake Orion, one could hardly avoid being amazed about the immense influence that one man had on people of various ages. Fr. Dan's 68 years of life enabled him to share wisdom with the young who face the challenges of maturing in the world, guidance for adults in their commitments in life and support for the elderly in the twilight of their lives.
Father was a great gift to our monastic community and we are grateful to God for the blessing that he has been for us.
Born in 1942 with the given name James, he was raised in a devout Catholic home in Detroit.
He attended shrine of the Little Flower Grade School and Church in Royal Oak as a child and later completed his primary education at Benedictine High School in Detroit .
James was inspired to become a monk and priest at a young age and soon after he completed his high school education, he went to a relatively new foundation (at the time) called St. Benedict Monastery in Oxford, Michigan.
Upon entry into the novitiate James took on the name "Daniel" after the Old Testament prophet.
On August 15, 1961, Brother Daniel professed the monastic vows and began studies at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake. A year later, another native Detroiter named Br. Michael Green made his profession and began studies at the same institution.
Later, both monks continued their education at the University of Toronto in Canada where they both played hockey whenever the opportunity availed itself.
On June 6th, 1969, Brother Daniel was ordained to the priesthood and attended his duties and assignments with great devotion including serving as Associate Pastor at St. Scholastica Church in Detroit, but it as in 1975 that he opened the doors to a ministry that enabled him to touch the lives of countless young people.
It began during his tenure at St. Scholastica, where he started a youth group with Mary Cummings. Fr. Dan as deeply moved by his experience with the youth and the positive feedback from the program he started at the parish. This inspired him, upon his return to St. Benedict's in 1977, to minister to young people in a way that would serve even more than a single youth group. This is how Subiaco Retreat House was founded.
The retreat house itself started out as a converted barn and was later renovated and expanded upon to the form that it has today.
It was through the retreat ministry that Father Dan, with the help and support of Mrs. Cummings and his brother monks, that over 100,000 teenagers were able to experience a time of peace and spiritual renewal in the Catholic faith.
Although Fr. Daniel was devoted to his ministry with youth, it was through his monastic vocation that this was made possible.
Father's work at Subiaco Retreat House did not distract him from his vocation as a monk and priest. His devotion and admiration for his confreres and monastic life was very apparent in the way he expressed himself and attended his duties at the monastery.
Although he was elected Prior and served in that capacity for 19 years, he never thought of any task as being "below" that office.
His leadership was highlighted primarily by the way he served, whether it was the monks in the monastery, the teenagers in the retreat house or the cows in the fields.
When it was time for him to step-down from his position as Prior in 2009, he graciously assumed his proper place without any hesitation or difficulty in the transition of authority.
Although on the surface, Father's life might seem to have been complex (he also co-authored four books), his life was actually simple because his motivation was simply love.