Father Dominic Milroy, who has died at 86, had been a Benedictine monk of Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire for nearly 70 years, and served as headmaster of Ampleforth College throughout the 1980s.
Born in Swanage, Dorset, and educated at Ampleforth, he read modern languages at St Benet’s, Oxford, the private hall established by the order to allow its monks to study for secular degrees.
He went to work at the college in 1957 and was variously director of theatre, head of modern languages and master of St Wilfrid’s House.
He was appointed headmaster in January 1980, and during a 12-year term, served as chairman of the Conference of Catholic Secondary Schools and Colleges, and on the National Forum of the Catholic Education Service. From 1997 until 2010 he was chairman of the governors at St Benedict’s Roman Catholic primary school at Ampleforth.
His tenure saw the welcoming to Ampleforth of José Manuel Eguiguren, a married layman and founder of a lay movement in Chile. The visit led to more than 100 Ampleforth students spending gap years in Chile – the home country of Fr Dominic’s grandmother.
Beyond Ampleforth, he was a member of the Bishops’ Secretariat for non-believers, prior of the Benedictine house at Sant’Anselmo in Rome, and a member of the Chevtogne Group, an informal group of European monastic superiors established to examine the interface between European institutions and the monastic tradition.
In the area of ecumenism, in 1993 he was appointed Cathedral Prior of Chester Cathedral, a title dating from pre-Reformation times, when Benedictines formed the chapters of nine of the cathedrals of England. Although today such titles carry no jurisdiction, they have been traditionally bestowed on Benedictine monks since 1633.
The author of numerous articles and contributions for a variety of books, he was 2009-2017 editor of The Ampleforth Journal.