Evans Funeral Home
"Compassionate Funeral Service"
Carrington and New Rockford, North Dakota
701.652.3003 or 701.947.2911
Secondary Number ~ 701.650.9937
Fr. Lawrence Haas
Father Haas, a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Fargo, passed away on December 8, 2019. Born on May 8, 1933 to Michael and Anne Haas on the family farm south of Lidgerwood, ND, Father Haas attended rural schools and St. Boniface Catholic School in Lidgerwood. He graduated from Lidgerwood High School in 1951. In January 1955, he entered St. John’s University near St. Cloud, MN, to begin his studies for the priesthood. He graduated from St. John’s with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in May 1959 and entered St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, MN, that fall to continue his studies. Graduating in May 1963, he was ordained to the priesthood on June 1st at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo by Bishop Leo F. Dworschak. He celebrated his first solemn Mass on June 2nd at St. Boniface in Lidgerwood.
Father Haas was assigned as associate pastor of St. John’s Church in New Rockford, ND, on June 22, 1963. In addition to his parish duties, he taught full time at St. James Catholic High School. On July 1, 1969, he was transferred to Holy Spirit Parish in Fargo as associate pastor. Three months later, Bishop Dworschak asked him to become the new pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center, the Catholic parish for the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. While stationed there, he joined the Pre-Marriage Weekend Program, taught part time in UND’s Special Education Department, and was a frequent adult education speaker. He developed a long talk entitled “The Beauty of Human Sexuality and How to Teach Your Children in a Home Setting,” which he gave over 420 times in a six state area, including twice at a National Newman Convention in Miami, FL. Tapes of this talk were sold across the country. He loved working with the college set.
On July 1, 1984, he became pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish in Devils Lake, ND. The Benedictine Fathers from Richardton, ND, had traditionally staffed this parish, so he was the first Diocesan priest to serve as pastor in 97 years. In addition, he had mission parishes in Starkweather and at St. Benedicts north of Crary. On July 1, 1996, he became pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Carrington, ND. For the first two years, he had a mission parish in Kensal, ND. After forty five years of loving service, Father Haas retired from full-time ministry on July 1, 2008. Continuing to make Carrington his home, he enjoyed filling in for other priests on weekends over a large portion of the state for a number of years before completely retiring from active ministry.
After high school, Father Haas farmed with his father for four years before entering the seminary and for three summers while in priestly formation. Consequently, he enjoyed visiting farmers in their fields throughout his priesthood, often driving a combine when there was a need, or just riding along to visit and reminisce about the “good old days.” With this background and a grandfather, an uncle, two brothers, and a cousin working as International Harvester dealers, he was a life-long fan of IH tractors, twelve of which he lovingly restored and proudly showcased in parades, tractor treks, and fairs. In addition, Father Haas had many other interests and hobbies. He enjoyed golfing. He was a serious woodworker with a well-equipped shop who fashioned many chalices and bread bowls, cedar chests, conference tables, cabinets, and other pieces of furniture for use in the parishes and communities that he served. In his earlier days, he was an avid hunter and fisherman with many cherished memories from his Canadian fishing trips.
He enjoyed being around people and could easily strike up a conversation with just about anyone, which meant he was often the last one to leave the church on Sunday mornings. Father Haas enjoyed sports and attended as many local events as possible, encouraging the students to greatness not only in sports, but to fully use their talents to create a better world, serve the Lord, and find joy in daily living and the hope of Eternal Life.
He is survived by one brother Bob and his wife ArDeen of Lidgerwood; three additional sisters-in-law: Betty Haas of St. Paul, MN, Mary Haas of Bismarck, and Joan Ressler of Bismarck; and 24 nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; three brothers: Theodore, Paul and Ray; two sisters: Mary Firnstahl and Margaret Anne Gaukler; and a niece, Renae Haugen. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Women’s Care Center, 406 4th St NE, Devils Lake, ND 58301 or St. Gianna’s Maternity Home, 15605 County Road 15, Minto, ND 58261.
Visitation will be Thursday, 9:00AM-4:30PM at Evans Funeral Home and will continue from 5:00PM – 6:45PM at the church followed by a Rosary Service at 6:45PM and a Vigil Service at 7:00PM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Carrington.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, December 13, 2019 at 10:30AM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Carrington.
Burial will be at the Lidgerwood Cemetery.
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