Oakdale parish’s new lecture series honors late pastor

| July 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

A lecture series featuring speakers who proclaim the Gospel with clarity, force and joy begins next month at Transfiguration in Oakdale, in honor of the parish’s late pastor, Father William Baer.

Widely known as a powerful homilist and leader who drew people into the faith, Father Baer died unexpectedly in January last year at age 60. He had served since 2011 at Transfiguration. He was rector of St. John Vianney College Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul from 1999 to 2010, and in his first assignment as a priest he served at Nativity of Our Lord in St. Paul from 1996 to 1998.

Father Baer is greatly missed, and the Father William Baer Memorial Lecture Series is one way to honor his name and encourage others to boldly embrace and preach the faith, said Father John Paul Erickson, pastor of Transfiguration.

The inaugural talks will be held on three evenings, each at 7 p.m. at the church, beginning Aug. 1 with Faith: Praying Well, with Father Francis “Rocky” Hoffman, executive director and CEO of Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Catholic talk radio network Relevant Radio.

On Aug. 15, Auxiliary Bishop Juan Miguel Betancourt Torres of Hartford, Connecticut, a former vice rector of formation at The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, will address Hope: Dying Well; and Aug. 29, Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will discuss Charity: Loving Well.

Father Baer spoke with clarity of expression, joy and truth in ways that also demanded change in people’s lives, Father Erickson said.

“All of these speakers have those qualities in abundance,” he said.

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