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Bishop Raymond Alphonse Lucker

At age 74, Bishop Raymond Alphonse Lucker, STD, died Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2001 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Home, St. Paul.

The Holy Father granted Bishop Lucker an early retirement Nov. 17, 2000, upon learning that he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma.

During his early retirement, Bishop Lucker resided at the Leo C. Byrne residence, St. Paul, until July 2001, when he sought full-time care at Our Lady of Good Counsel Home, St. Paul.

Raymond Alphonse Lucker was born Feb. 24, 1927 in St. Paul. He was the son of Alphonse J. Lucker and Josephine Schiltgen Lucker Mayer, and the third child in a family of six children.

As a child, he attended Sacred Heart Grade School and Nazareth Hall Preparatory Seminary, St. Paul.

As an adult, he studied philosophy and theology at the Saint Paul Seminary, and was ordained to the priesthood June 7, 1952, at the Cathedral of St. Paul by Bishop James J. Byrne.

Bishop Lucker's first assignment was as assistant director of the Office of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, from June 1952 to Feb. 1958, at which time he was named director.

He held this position until Sept. 11, 1964, when he was sent to pursue graduate studies. He received a doctorate in sacred theology from the University of St. Thomas in Rome.

While studying in Rome, he participated in the activities of the Second Vatican Council, an experience that inspired his pastoral ministry and leadership throughout his lifetime.

After completing his studies in Rome, he returned to the Archdiocese and was named assistant superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese.

The following year he became superintendent, and remained in this position until Jan. 1969. During this time, he completed a doctorate (PhD) in education at the University of Minnesota.

That year, he became the director of the Department of Christian Formation of the United States Catholic Conference in Washington, D.C. until June 1971.

During this time, Pope Paul VI named Raymond Lucker an honorary prelate (monsignor). In July 1971, he was named auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and titular bishop of meta.

He was ordained a bishop Sept. 8, 1971, on the Feast of the Nativity of Mary.

Along with his duties as auxiliary bishop, he was named pastor of the Church of St. Austin, Minneapolis, until July 1974. He was then named the pastor of the Church of the Assumption of Mary, St. Paul until 1976.

While pastor at Assumption, he also served as director of the liturgy office of the Archdiocese.

He was named bishop of New Ulm Dec. 23, 1975, and this appointment was announced Dec. 30, 1975.

He was installed as Bishop of New Ulm, Feb. 19, 1976, at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, New Ulm, and served the diocese for 25 years.

He was an active member of the Catholic Theological Society of America, and served on the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Administrative Committee and the committees on Latin America, Evangelization, Diaconate, Laity, Catechetical Directory, and Charismatic Renewal.

The most valued recognition of his academic career was an honorary doctor of humane letters, honoris causa from the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul.

He was recognized for his commitment to religious education, spiritual renewal, pastoral leadership, and his pioneering efforts in promoting equality for women in the church and society.

In June 2001, the Catholic Theological Society of America paid special tribute to Bishop Lucker during its national convention, for his devoted leadership and service to the church.

In July 2001, he was recognized for his leadership in the area of social justice, receiving Pax Christi USA's highest honor, the Ambassador of Peace Award.

On Sunday, Sept. 23, 2001, 3:30 p.m., there was a Reception of the Body at Guardian Angels Church, 8260 Hudson Boulevard North, Oakdale. Visitation followed, and continued throughout the all-night vigil.

There was a 7:30 p.m. evening prayer, and a 10:30 p.m. night prayer Sunday, Sept. 23, at Guardian Angels Church, Oakdale.

Monday, Sept. 24, 2001, was a 7:30 a.m. morning prayer at Guardian Angels Church, Oakdale, followed by a 10:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial.

Also, Monday, September 24, 2001, 3:30 p.m., there was a Reception of the Body at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, New Ulm.

Visitation followed and continued throughout the all-night vigil. In addition, there was a 7:30 p.m. evening prayer and a 10:30 p.m. night prayer Monday evening at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, New Ulm.

On Tuesday, September 25, 2001, there was a 7:30 a.m. morning prayer followed by a 10:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, New Ulm. Burial will follow at the New Ulm Catholic Cemetery.

Bishop Lucker was preceded in death by his parents, Alphonse Lucker and Josephine Schiltgen Lucker Mayer, his stepfather, Joseph Mayer, and sister-in-law, Mary Lucker.

He is survived by sisters, Rosemary and Greg Kern of Richfield, Mary Jo and Frank Haggerty of Roseville, and Margaret (Peggy) and Don Grobe of Millville, Minn.; brothers, Donald and Dianna Lee Lucker of Wayzata, and Gerald Lucker of Pengilly, Minn.; many nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and nephews.

Memorials are preferred to the Lay Ministry Scholarship Fund, Bishop Lucker Lecture Fund, Fr. Alexander Berghold Memorial, and Our Lady of Good Counsel Home, St. Paul.

Arrangements were handled by O'Halloran and Murphy, St. Paul, (651) 631-2727 and the Diocese of New Ulm, (507) 359-2966.

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