Rev P Bernardus Haas

Rev P Bernardus Haas

Death 29 Nov 1933 (aged 67)
Burial Belmont, Gaston County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 129365412 · View Source
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Father Bernard of Belmont Abbey Dies

He was born in Erie, PA, on June 12, 1866. His early education was received in the local school, from which he went as a candidate for monastic life to St. Vincent’s College, in Latrobe, Pa. Upon finishing his novitiate, he pronounced the monastic vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience July 11, 1886. In 1885 he volunteered to form one of the band of pioneers, under the Most Rev. Bishop Haid, who brought Catholic education to Belmont and to the South. At Belmont, on December 20, 1889, he was ordained to the priesthood.

Immediately afterwards, Father Bernard, though scarcely more than a boy, was made procurator of the Abbey and placed in charge of its temporalities. Teaching, mission work in Lincolnton, Hickory, Concord, and Salisbury, and the executive work of molding the materials of the growing community filled his life until 1896, when Bishop Haid appointed him Rector of St. Mary’s College, now Belmont Abbey College. His talent for organizing and teaching found a broad opportunity to display itself. Students from all over the South and many from the North were attracted to Belmont. In 1900, the college was totally destroyed by fire. Undaunted, Father Bernard, under the leadership of Bishop Haid and with the undivided cooperation of his fellow workers, built a new, a bigger, and a better college.

In 1902, Father Bernard was sent to organize a Catholic day military school in Savannah, Ga. Though a day school with military discipline was a new experiment, he saw the fitness of the scheme and courageously opened the Benedictine School. The beginnings were hard, but Father Bernard knew no temptation to retreat. Forward was his march. And his victory was a school of established character, an honor to the city.

While building Benedictine School, Father Bernard was pastor of a growing Sacred Heart Church. In this parish, he was to be a pioneer parochial school organizer in Georgia.

Ill health caused his resignation in 1922 after 20 years of successful work. A year spent in parish work in Southern Pines, NC, brought hopes of health and a desire for activity. In 1923, he went to Richmond, VA, where he became Prior of the Benedictine community there and Rector of Benedictine High School. His accustomed optimism and courage displayed themselves in the increased parish activities, the building of a priory, and the school morale of the cadet corps. A weakened heart caused his retirement again in 1926.

In 1928, nothing daunted, Father Bernard began again to work for Christ and for youth. In that year the Rt. Rev. Abbot Vincent appointed him treasurer of Belmont Abbey College, the position he occupied at the time of his death.

Death has taken from the South a real priest and a real educator. The name of Father Bernard Haas will be remembered in Catholic circles long as a synonym for dynamic optimism.

Father Bernard is survived by the following immediate relatives: two brothers, Rev. Louis Haas, OSB, Latrobe, Pa; John Haas, Erie, Pa; and three sisters, Mrs. Annie Rectenwald, Mrs. Elizabeth Eichenlaub, Mrs. Frances Illig, Erie, Pa.

Excerpted from the Southern Cross December 16, 1933

Above was submitted by contributor #48382183.

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  • Created by: Grave Wanderer
  • Added: 7 May 2014
  • Find a Grave Memorial 129365412
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rev P Bernardus Haas (12 Jun 1866–29 Nov 1933), Find a Grave Memorial no. 129365412, citing Belmont Abbey Cemetery, Belmont, Gaston County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Grave Wanderer (contributor 48154538) .