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The Rev. Ignatius Estes, 79, helped found Catholic school


The Rev. Ignatius Estes, O.SS.T., who was a pharmacist before entering the Order of the Most Holy Trinity in 1943, died Tuesday of heart failure at Northwest Hospital Center in Randallstown. He was 79.

Born Thomas Norman Estes in Topeka, Kan., he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps after graduating from high school during the Depression. The CCC sent him to pharmacy school and he was a pharmacist in Oklahoma before joining the Trinitarians, founded in 1198 with the mission of freeing the poor from poverty and ignorance.

He completed his theological studies at Catholic University of America in 1947 and was ordained a priest in 1948.

Father Estes was pastor at parishes in California, Texas and Maryland, where he was assigned to churches in Riverdale and Morganza in St. Mary's County.

From 1980 until his retirement in 1988, he was pastor of St. Paul Roman Catholic Church in Johnston, Ill.

After he retired, he moved to the Trinitarians' Northwest Baltimore monastery.

He was one of the Trinitarians who established DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville in 1946. He taught there until 1954.

"He taught Latin and physics and mathematics and was really, for years, the school's science department," said the Rev. Charles J. Flood, provincial secretary and treasurer of Trinitarians here.

Father Estes also was responsible for helping prepare young candidates for the Trinitarians.

"He had a very active mind and artistic skill," Father Flood said. "He always kept an interest in an active hobby."

One of those hobbies included assembling a large video library.

"He had over 8,000 videos of classic movies as well as contemporary films, which were carefully indexed by title and actor. He was a very methodical man. It was like having our own Blockbuster's in the monastery," Father Flood said.

Father Estes also was a philatelist, who assembled a noteworthy collection of German stamps, some of which dated to the time of the Kaisers.

He was known for his sense of humor and forthrightness and "was a very astute person who had the gift of courage," Father Flood said.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 3 p.m. today at the Chapel of Holy Trinity Monastery, 8400 Park Heights Ave., Baltimore.

He is survived by his Trinitarian brothers.

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