Deacon Sam Taub dies

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Deacon Samuel M. Taub, one of the longest serving deacons in the Arlington Diocese, died Nov. 17 at his McLean home surrounded by family. He was 93.

The wake service will be held at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington on Friday, Nov. 21, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. The funeral Mass will be offered at the Cathedral on Saturday, Nov. 22, at 2 p.m.

"Deacon Sam Taub was a font of wisdom and a great source of encouragement to me in my efforts to help prepare candidates for their future ministry as deacons," said Father Thomas P. Ferguson, director of diaconate formation. "He was exactly what a deacon is called to be - an icon of Christ the Servant."

Taub was born July 16, 1921, in Milwaukee, Wis., and earned a bachelor's in history from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

While at Wisconsin, he enrolled in the V-12 program, which trained officers for combat duty during World War II. After graduating from the program he served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Europe and the Pacific, retiring as a colonel in 1969.

Taub married Phyllis Bruscoe in December 1944 before being deployed overseas. They raised four children.

When the permanent diaconate program was restored by Pope Paul VI in 1968, Taub applied for admission to diaconate training to Richmond Bishop John J. Russell. He was accepted and enrolled at the Josephite Seminary in Washington in 1970.

Taub was one of five deacons ordained in 1973. He was ordained by Bishop Russell May 31 at St. Thomas More Church in Arlington and was assigned to St. Ann Church in Arlington. The Diocese of Arlington was formed in 1974.

In addition to his diaconate duties, Taub served as a staff assistant to the Bishop's Committee on the Diaconate for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the precursor to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In 1984, Deacon Taub became the committee's executive director. He served in that capacity until 1988. In 1992, the general secretariat asked Deacon Taub to once again serve as executive director, which he did, serving for another four years.

In 1994, he was assigned as permanent deacon at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington.

He served as a member of the Diaconal Council for many years.

Although he technically retired from active ministry in June 2005, he continued to assist at the cathedral for many years. He would rise every morning at 4:30 a.m. and prepare for the day. He drove from his McLean home to unlock the cathedral doors at 6 a.m.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2014