Evan Hierholzer, Managing Editor
Fr. David Balás, a beloved and faithful theology professor at the University of Dallas, died Saturday, ending a long teaching career here that began in 1959. He was 84.
Born on Aug. 6, 1929, in Budapest, Balás was among those Cistercian monks who successfully fled a Hungary increasingly dominated by communism.
Joining the Cistercian Abbey of Zirc as a novice on Aug. 29, 1948, Balás soon afterward was forced to flee as a result of the communists’ suppression of the abbey in 1950.
From Hungary, Balás made his way to Rome, where he studied theology and philosophy extensively, eventually obtaining degrees in both areas of study.
In addition, Balás earned a doctorate of theology, writing his dissertation on the theology of St. Gregory of Nyssa.
Balás joined the monastery of Our Lady of Dallas in 1959 and began teaching at UD shortly after. He served as Braniff dean from 1980 to 1983.
“Fr. David taught in the theology department for over 40 years, as well as serving as its chair at various periods during that time,” said Dr. Mark Goodwin, associate professor of theology and chair of the theology department.
“He was a beloved colleague and mentor to many of us in the department. I have fond memories of him speaking on the Cappadocian fathers, his passion and area of expertise,” said Goodwin. “He will be greatly missed.”
Balás was well-respected outside of the confines of the university as well, participating significantly in the American Patristic Society and even serving as its president for one term, according to the obituary provided by the funeral home.
Among his other accomplishments, Balás also helped found the Ecumenical Faculty Seminar on Early Catholic Christianity in 1966.
According to the obituary, which is posted to the university website, a rosary and a wake will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Cistercian Monastery of Our Lady of Dallas.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the monastery at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Memorials may be made to the Young Monk Education Fund at the Cistercian Abbey, 3550 Cistercian Rd., Irving, Texas.