Nagy, Anselm

From Biographia Cisterciensis

Anselm Nagy OCist

Anselm Nagy OCist

1. Abbot of the Cistercian Abbey Our Lady of Dallas 1963–1975, 1976–1988

* 1 Feb 1915 Buják, Hungary
5 Aug 1988 Dallas, Texas, USA

Abbot Anselm Nagy was born on Feb. 1, 1915, in Buják, a town in Northern Hungary. After graduation in the Saint Emery School of Budapest in 1934, he entered the novitiate of Zirc Abbey. He studied theology in Zirc and Rome, completing a doctoral degree in 1942 at the Pontifical University Angelicum. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1941, followed by three years as an assistant pastor at the rural parish of Elöszállás.

After the war, in September 1945, his superiors sent him to the West to explore ways of providing for those hungarian Cistercians whom the new Communist regime was about to force into exile. He arrived to the United States in April 1946. After visiting the Cistercian monastery of Spring Bank in Wisconsin he began serving as an assistant pastor of the Hungarian church of St. Stephen in Toledo, Ohio. In 1949 he returned to Spring Bank and was made Subprior and novice master. He also began studying at Marquette University in Milwaukee and eventually obtained a Masters degree in Mathematics.

On Feb. 1, 1953, the majority of the Hungarians living in Spring Bank decided to start a foundation elsewhere. Chosen as their superior, Fr. Anselm was asked to lead the transfer of his group to Dallas where the Cistercians played a decisive role at the foundation of the University of Dallas. In 1962 the Cistercian Preparatory School opened its doors to its first fifty students, a new task for the growing priory. In the following year, 1963, the monastery was raised to the rank of an abbey and the former prior, Fr. Anselm, was elected as its first abbot. He served in this position until 1975. In 1976, the abbey’s new constitutions went into effect and Fr. Anselm was again elected abbot for two consecutive terms for a total of twelve years. He served as the abbot of “Our Lady of Dallas” until April. 4, 1988.

Soon after retiring from his abbatial duties, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died in St. Paul’s hospital on Aug. 5, 1988 at the age of 73.





Farkasfalvy, Denis: „In memorian: Anselm Nagy (1915–1988)” in Cistercians in Texas: Commemorating the 900th Anniversary of Cistercian Beginnings and 40 Years of cistercian Life in Texas. Irving, Texas: Our Lady of Dallas, 1998, p. 130–132.

Citation: Nagy, Anselm, in: Biographia Cisterciensis (Cistercian Biography), Version vom 23.7.2011, URL:,_Anselm

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