Seminarian Dan Powell dies at age 41

CHARLESTON — Daniel Thomas Powell, a seminarian for the Diocese of Charleston, died Aug. 14, at age 41.

The wake service was held Aug. 17 and the Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Aug. 18, both at St. Theresa the Little Flower in Summerville. The burial will be in New Jersey.

Powell was born July 9, 1965, in Denville, N.J., a son of the late Joseph F. and Marie Helmstaedter Powell.

He was a graduate of Morris Knolls High School, in Denville, and of Marietta College in Ohio with a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering. During his career, Powell worked as a construction estimator from 1988-2001 during which time he moved to Spartanburg in 1996.

He entered St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, in Boynton Beach, Fla., in 2001.

Bishop Robert J. Baker celebrated a special Mass for the seminarian Aug. 8 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Several local seminarians and priests attended the liturgy as did two of Powell’s siblings.

During his homily, Bishop Baker referred to St. Dominic, whose feast day it was, saying that his motto, “tradere contemplata”, to pass on what we have contemplated in our hearts, is the special charism of all who aspire to follow Christ, especially those who aspire to the priesthood.

“Today, my dear brother priests, seminarians and friends, Dan is preaching to all of us,” the bishop said. “He is doing what St. Dominic taught his disciples to do. Dan is passing on to us the fruits of his contemplation — telling us that in the midst of our own lives, there will always be the cross — we cannot run away from it, ever, if we are to be true followers of Jesus.

“Dan is preaching to us today a very important message: Embrace your cross, as I am embracing mine, in union with the cross of Jesus,” Bishop Baker said. “Your cross is whatever causes you sorrow or pain, any hardship that you cannot humanly avoid — your own illness, weakness, suffering, sinfulness; your failures, mistakes and shortcomings, your human fragility that is the result of the sin of Adam. Embrace that cross, Dan tells us, as I am now embracing my heavy cross, which Jesus helps me bear, in reparation for the sins of the world.”

Powell is survived by three brothers, John, Joseph Jr. and Willey, and three sisters, Patricia, Jennifer and Eileen.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by James A. McAlister Funeral Home.

Messages of condolence may be sent to the Powell family c/o St. Theresa, the Little Flower Church, 11001 Dorchester Road, Summerville, SC 29485.