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.

Posted Condolences:

21 Comments

  1. My sincere sympathy to the family of Fr. Haas. He was a wonderful priest and a gentle spirit that touched many lives, including my own. He was a wonderful family friend for many years. May you find peace in knowing that he used his gifts and talents to bring Christ to so many youth and adults over his many years as a priest. Thank you for sharing him with the Fargo Diocese. Sincerely in Christ, Ralph Dyrness.

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  2. Father was a very nice man. I and his friend Harold Klein had a lot of good times.

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  3. Dear Family of Fr. Haas,
    I just spoke with my brother, Jack Dyrness, in California. He, like the other younger Dyrness’, i.e. Leona Fox, and myself–want the family of Fr. Haas to know that you will be in our thoughts and prayers as you mourn the loss of your loved one. Both Leona and Jack were at St. James when Fr. Haas was there. They have always spoke very highly of him as a priest and a friend. We shall have Masses said for Fr. Haas here in Valley City and New Rockford for our dear friend. God bless you

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  4. My condolences and prayers for the family of Fr. Haas. Fr. was so inspirational in my younger years at St. James in New Rockford. His religion class’s that he taught were so thorough and interesting as he gave you the nuts and bolts to give one a firm basis of understanding. He was always at our high school sporting events at St. James and if he gave us a pep talk he would address us as young men. Everything he did was with meaning and his homily’s were designed to give you something to make your spiritual life better. This great priest will be sorely missed here on earth but his reward in heaven was happily worked for, Gary Klein

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  5. What a kind and Great man. So honored to have met him🙏

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  6. Thanks for the life of Fr.Haas and his work at Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake, prayers to his family. He will be missed by all.

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  7. I got to know Fr. Haas during his years at the Newman Center. He created a very special and welcoming place on campus. He influenced a generation of UND students to be better people with his caring and jovial personality. Thanks, Father, and enjoy your eternal reward.

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  8. Our family has great memories of Fr. Haas. He was the pastor here at St. Joseph’s when we moved here in 1994. We specifically remember the evening he took our family out for a boat ride on Devils Lake. He will be missed. We will be sending a memorial to Women’s Care Center in Devils Lake.

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  9. Fr. Haas was a faithful and faith filled man of God and served the Church as a priest, sharing his many talents. I appreciated his gentle spirit and concern for the sacredness of all life. He was at the Newman Center in Grand Forks while I was at UND and I enjoyed his pastoral presence and homilies. He made be a wood chalice and plate when I was ordained that I will always cherish. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him.

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  10. My condolences to the family! My parents were good friends with Fr Haas. It is good to know that they are all together in eternity with God!

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  11. Condolences to Fathers family. He was a good man and a great Priest. I had the pleasure of helping Father Hass build his garage at St. Joseph School. He made this into a woodworking shop. Out of this shop he built many beautiful items for St. Joseph church here in Devils Lake. He also built many things for other churches in the area. His woodworking talents were amazing. He will be missed. Rest In Peace Father Hass

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  12. Our sincere condolences to the family of Fr. Haas. Father was an inspiration and perfect example of how we should be living our lives and treating our fellowmen. Fr. Haas became my high school religion teacher at St. James Academy when he came to New Rockford to be associate pastor at St. John’s Church. And 2 1/2 years later he married my husband Larry and me at St.Johns. Fr. was so sincere and kind, patient and understanding. Such a wonderful role model. Fr. Would never pass up the opportunity to discuss the outstanding qualities of the RED vs the GREEN. But he would never turn down an invitation to ride with Larry in the green J.D. combine during harvest. Fr. Haas was a special gift from God and will be missed so very much.

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  13. I was blessed to work closely with Fr. Haas when I worked in Pastoral Care at Carrington Health Center. Eternal rest grant to him! My late husband enjoyed his association with Fr. Haas through the Central Dakota Steam Threshers Reunion where his restored Farmalls were proudly displayed and driven in the parade.

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  14. We were fortunate enough to get to know Fr Haas while my husband attended graduate school at UND. There was an ad in the church bulletin looking for a married couple to prepare meals and clean for the two priests serving the Newman Center. In exchange, we would be able to live in an apartment at the center. I interviewed with Fr Haas and got the job! What a joy it was to share our evening meals with him and Fr Tuchscherer. Our oldest son was born right before we left and Fr Haas baptized him. He was a wonderful priest and a great role model for many. May he rest in peace.

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  15. Our dear friend, Father Haas, has made an amazing impact on our lives! From the day he arrived at St. James High School, New Rockford, ND, and began teaching us Religion, Public Speaking, Safe Driving and much more, we experienced a man with enormous wisdom, love and consideration for all who knew him.

    I have so many fond memories and some are quite funny, too! I can still see him entering our very active, loud class and, while speaking through the side of his mouth, saying, “Sounds like a boiler factory in here!”

    To know Fr. was to love him, and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to know and love this fine human being. RIP Father Haas.

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  16. Father Lawrence Haas

    We admire the gentle guidance of a young priest of the prairie who served his entire life as a shepherd to the Lord’s family on Earth.

    We revere the Christian teacher who imparted knowledge and wisdom to his students, and who stood tall as a mighty example of his faith in action.

    We appreciate the dedicated man of God who brought the blessings of the sacraments and the joy of friendship to all who were graced by his presence.

    The Author of life has written his story: He was truly a man for all seasons and for every purpose under the Heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3)

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  17. We loved Fr. Haas when he was pastor at St. Joseph’s Church in Devils Lake, ND. He was a kind and gentles man and always remembered you even when he moved to Carrington. He dedicated his life to God and the church and he will be rewarded in heaven. He and his family will be remembered in our prayers.

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  18. Fr. Haas was a calm, caring, and loving presence at the Newman Center at UND while I was a student there. When my husband and I visited him in Devils Lake shortly after our wedding he gifted us with a beautiful cross which he had made and signed for us; it still hangs in our bedroom 33 years later.
    May you soon hear the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”, as the angels lead you into paradise….

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  19. I loved Father Haas. He was a great servant of Christ–and, one of the finest priests that I have been privileged to know personally as I served with Fr Haas, his neighbor in Harvey. When I first came to be in the Fargo Diocese, I worked one summer with him at the large parish in Devil’s Lake. People absolutely loved Fr. Haas as they knew that he loved his people, cared about them, and, served with noble distinction as their pastor. The young people were especially dear to his heart; and, he enjoyed taking them boating out on a near by lake on a very hot summer day to cool off or to ski. I was in charge of fixing lunch!! I was honored and blessed to know this great man of God who brought honor to the priesthood of Jesus Christ by the faith he practiced and lived faithfully all the days of his life.

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  20. Fr. Haas also gave us a crucifix he made that we still treasure. He was a wonderful influence and presence at UND’s Newman Center and we remember him fondly. May you rest in peace, Father.

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  21. Father helped me through marriage prep to become Catholic and we married my husband when we were at UND. He was such a friendly lovely soul! We will miss his yearly letter. He will always remember him in our heart! My condolences to the entire Haas Family!

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