Friar Maurus HAUER, of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation in the USA (OLC), returned to the Father’s house on Sunday morning, February 17, 2019. At the age of 101, he was the oldest Conventual Franciscan in the world.
Friar Maurus was born in Terre Haute, Indiana on October 17, 1917. He began his vocational journey by meeting one of our confreres, encouraged by the Mother Superior of the Sisters who taught in his parish. He entered the Conventual Franciscan minor Seminary at Mount Saint Francis, Indiana as a high school student. This was during the Great Depression in the 1930’s. Because the seminary began to experience financial difficulties, it was necessary to ask some seminarians to continue their high school education in their home towns. Maurus returned to Terra Haute and attended the local high school. One year later, he was informed that the financial situation at the seminary had improved, and he could return if he chose to do so. Friar Maurus always regarded his being called back to the seminary in the 1930s as a providential sign of his priestly and religious vocation. He was the only seminarian in his class who actually did return to the seminary after that year in his home town.
He made his temporary profession on August 17, 1939, his solemn profession on August 17, 1942, and was ordained a priest on February 24, 1945.
He lived most of his priestly ministry in an isolated region of the Southwestern United States. He became proficient in the Spanish language and served Spanish-speaking and native American communities in poor, rural areas. He would say about himself that he was a priest who baptized many children and adults. With help from his collaborators, he transferred an entire abandoned chapel to the town of Loving, New Mexico, where it became a parish church.
On the day of his 100th birthday, Friar Maurus offered everyone his witness of faith and expressed his certain belief in the presence of God’s hand in his life.
He will be remembered by all for his humble service and constant smile. We thank the Lord for giving him to us.
From the Province