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Fr. Bartholomew Agar, O. Praem.

Why Fr. Bartholomew Agar, O. Praem., Chose Norbertine Life

By Fr. Bartholomew Agar, O. Praem.

Fr. Agar celebrated the 60th anniversary of his priesthood ordination on June 6, 2018.

While I was living in Philadelphia, I received a postcard inviting me to audition for the band at Southeast Catholic High School (a Norbertine school). Prior to my audition I was introduced to a tall man in a white habit wearing a biretta and descending the stairs. It was Fr. Harry Koeppen, O. Praem., director of the high school music department with whom I felt an immediate bond. From that moment, I knew that I was going to be a priest forever; meeting this remarkable man was a sign. There were many Norbertines teaching in my high school at that time and I knew I wanted to be just like them—a teacher and a priest. And I am.

For most of my Norbertine life I was able to make music for our liturgies. When people told me that my music deepened their prayer life, it opened up a whole new apostolate for me. My musical prayer life began as a second-year novice in 1951 until I retired in 2000.

Incidentally, my teaching career began in St. Norbert High School in 1955 and concluded in 1995 at St. Norbert College. I am forever grateful for those years.


Sounds of the St. Norbert Abbey Organ: Fr. Bartholomew Agar, O. Praem.

from St. Norbert Abbey on Vimeo

An introduction to the St. Norbert Abbey Casavant organ with Fr. Bartholomew Agar, O. Praem., St. Norbert Abbey’s Organist Emeritus.

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