Fr. Bartholomew Agar, O. Praem.

Rev. Bartholomew Arthur Agar, O. Praem.

May 31, 1932 – February 2, 2019

Father Bartholomew Arthur Agar, O. Praem., age 87, a member of the Norbertine Community of St. Norbert Abbey, De Pere, WI, and a Norbertine priest, passed into God’s eternal kingdom on February 2, 2019.

Father Bartholomew (Father Bart) was born on May 31, 1932, in Philadelphia, PA to William and Marie (Richardson) Agar.

In 1955, Father Bart received a B.A. degree in Philosophy from St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI, and a Master’s degree in Music from University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada and also from Columbia University, New York, NY in 1979.

Upon entering St. Norbert Abbey, he was vested as a novice on August 28, 1950. He professed Simple Vows on August 28, 1952, Solemn Vows on August 28, 1955 and was ordained to the Priesthood on May 31, 1958. He celebrated 60 years of Priestly Ordination in 2018.

Father Bart was a faculty member at St. Norbert High School, De Pere, WI from 1955 – 1958. He spent the next 13 years at St. John Neumann High School, Philadelphia, PA. Father Bart was a faculty member in the Music Department as well as Organist, Accompanist and Choir Director at St. Norbert College from January 1973 until June 1983. He continued as an Organist and Choir Director at St. Norbert Abbey until June 2000. From June 2000 until present, he served as Organist Emeritus as well as in Internal Ministry at St. Norbert Abbey.

His brilliance as the Abbey Organist for so many years has been a treasure; he would often continue playing until the last person left the church. He created an atmosphere of such ethereal beauty in the Abbey Church, that music became a true gift, a blessed grace and glorious beatitude.

Father Bart is survived by the Norbertine Community; two half brothers, Laurence Cole and Richard Cole and half sister, Mary Anne Cole.

He was preceded in death by his parents.


Visitation will be held at the Church of St. Norbert Abbey beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, February 11, 2019, with Lauds of the Dead – Reception of the Body and concluding at 3:30 p.m.

The Mass of Christian Burial, expressing our faith and hope in the promised glory of the Lord’s Resurrection, will begin at 4:00 p.m. Rt. Rev. Dane J. Radecki, O. Praem., Abbot of St. Norbert Abbey, will preside at the funeral liturgy. Rev. James P. Neilson, O. Praem. will serve as homilist.

Burial will take place at a later date.

Ryan Funeral Home, De Pere, is in charge of the arrangements.

Read More

  • 3000 Pipes (Page 8)
    The Story of St. Norbert Abbey’s Casavant Organ: An Interview with Fr. Batholomew Agar, O. Praem.
    By Gina Sanders Larsen
    Fall/Winter 2015
    Abbey Magazine

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