Altmann, David

From Biographia Cisterciensis

David Altmann OCSO
Photo: Intermountain Catholic

David Altmann OCSO

6. Abbot of Holy Trinity Abbey in Huntsville 2007–2013

* 1938 Philadelphia

David Altmann, born in Philadelphia, of jewish descent, a graduate of Temple University (Philadelphia) with a degree in business, worked as a professional accountant in Los Angeles, California. Then went on to work for the U.S. Government’s General Accounting Office (GAO) and served in the US-Army from 1959–1962. In 1959 he converted to Catholicism and was baptised.

Thomas Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain drew Abbot David to the Trappists and their contemplative lifestyle. He joined Holy Trinity Abbey in March, 1966. His solemn profession was March 25, 1973. He earned a philosophy degree at Conception Abbey in Missouri, then completed his theological studies at Holy Trinity Abbey. He was ordained a priest Sept. 29, 1979, by then-Bishop Joseph Lennox Federal. For 25 years he served as the abbey’s treasurer and as guest master for retreatants.

He was elected and installed as 6th abbot on July 5, 2007, succeeding Abbot Casimir Bernas. Presiding at the election were Dom Damien Thompson of Gethsemani Abbey, Kentucky, and Dom Joseph Boyle of St. Benedict Abbey, Snowmass, Colorado. He received the abbatial blessing of Bishop John C. Wester of the Diocese of Salt Lake City on Aug. 29, 2007. His six year term as abbot ended in July 2013.



Prof.: sol. 25. März 1973; Sac.: 29. Sep. 1979; Abbas. el. 5. Juli 2007, ben. 29. Aug. 2007.


Barbara Stinson Lee: Philadelphia-born priest becomes sixth abbot, in: Intermountain Catholic, Jul. 27, 2007 · Abbot David Altman receives Abbatial blessing, in: Intermountain Catholic, Sep. 07, 2007.

Citation: Altmann, David, in: Biographia Cisterciensis (Cistercian Biography), Version vom 2.11.2018, URL:,_David

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