Benedictine Brother Stephen Galban of Mount Saviour Monastery in Elmira died Jan. 20, 2018. He was 90 years old.
Brother Galban was born Juan Galban in Havana, Cuba, in 1927 and received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Havana in 1952. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 33.
He joined Benedictines at Mount Saviour Monastery in 1960 and was given the name Stephen. He made his solemn profession on Dec. 8, 1965.
From 1967-88, Brother Galban lived as a hermit in a small cottage on the monastery property. He learned how to weave and created priestly stoles and also was an avid painter. Along with his artwork and weaving, he was known for his writing, photography, drafting and design work, and organizing the monastery’s collection of stamps, coins, photographs and postcards. His labor included milking cows; working in the guest house, laundry and sacristy; being the porter at the front desk; and making rosaries.
He is survived by his stepbrothers, Carlos Galban of Miami, Fla., and Octavio Galban of Tallahessee, Fla.; nieces and nephews; and his brother at Mount Saviour. His funeral liturgy was celebrated at the monastery’s chapel Jan. 23, 2018, with burial at Mount Saviour Cemetery.