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

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Twenty-Five Years of Service at St. Norbert College

August 29, 2018

Fr. James Neilson, O. Praem., assistant professor of art, was recognized for 25 years of service to St. Norbert College. More than two dozen faculty and staff received awards that were presented at the annual President’s Dinner.

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“Discovering Hidden Treasures at St. Norbert Abbey”

August 16, 2018

Abbot Dane Radecki, O. Praem., witnessed firsthand the historical “hidden treasures” discovered on the grounds of St. Norbert Abbey by Mike Counter, director of media relations at St. Norbert College (SNC).

Counter has been metal detecting as a hobby for 30 years. Since receiving exclusive permission from Abbot Radecki this spring, he already has unearthed dozens of unique historical artifacts.

Once he is done detecting, Counter will turn over his collection to Fr. James Neilson, O. Praem., assistant professor of art at SNC, who will create a display out of the treasures.

In the meantime, on August 31, 2018, one of the medals found by Counter while detecting was returned to its original owner, Deacon Dave Parker, with the help of Fr. Tim Shillcox, O. Praem., who saw the original news story.

In the News

Deacon’s medal, lost for 37 years, found on Abbey grounds
September 12, 2018
The Compass

Lost medal returned after 37 years
August 31, 2018

Lost medal returned after 37 years
August 31, 2018
WEAU (Eau Claire, Wisconsin)

Lost medal returned after 37 years
August 31, 2018
WSAW (Wausau, Wisconsin)

Discovering Hidden Treasures at St. Norbert Abbey
August 15, 2018

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