Father Herman Stier, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1898-1962)

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Born on January 30, 1898 in Appleton, Wisconsin, the son of John and Mary Stier he grew up in St. Joseph’s, a Capuchin parish. He graduated from the parochial school in 1912 and contemplating priesthood, entered St. Lawrence College, Mt Calvary, Wisconsin, the six year junior seminary run by the Capuchins. It was his spiritual director, Father Salesius, that advised him to become a Passionist. In 1916 he went to the Passionist novitiate in Louisville, Kentucky. He was professed on August 10, 1917. Educated in various Passionist monasteries for philosophy and theology, he was ordained a priest at St. Gabriel Monastery, Des Moines, Iowa on December 22, 1923. The next year he spent in Sacred Eloquence. He was a perfectionist in organizing his preaching sermons and preaching presentation. In 1925 he was assigned to teach at the Preparatory Seminary in Normandy, Missouri. The next year he was sent to study Canon Law in Rome at the Angelico where he obtained a doctorate. From 1929 to 1932 he taught Canon Law to Passionist students in Des Moines. In 1932 he was elected Rector of Des Moines. In 1935 he was elected First Provincial Consultor and re-elected the next chapter. In 1941 he became Provincial of Holy Cross Province. In 1947 he was elected Rector of Immaculate Conception Retreat in Chicago, Illinois. The next chapter he was made Rector of Mater Dolorosa Retreat House in Sierra Madre, California.

Father Stier served as synodal judge for the Chicago Diocesan Matrimonial Court while he was a Provincial Consultor. After his years in leadership he preached laymen’s retreats in Cincinnati, Ohio and Houston, Texas. He then proceeded on to give Clergy retreats at Our Lady’s Retreat House, Warrenton, Missouri. He also gave priests retreats in the neighboring dioceses. Father Stier, while at Warrenton, was assigned the task of rewriting the Passionist Rule. This meant much correspondence with Passionists in Rome. Subsequently he was asked by the Passionist Superior General to come to Rome and prepare a new edition of the Passionist Rule and Regulations. He stayed in Rome for a short time but health required that he return to Chicago and then back to Sierra Madre. Diabetes set in but once he regained his health he was assigned as Retreat Master at the Cedar Falls, Iowa Retreat House and Des Moines. Eventually he was stricken with cancer of the throat and he died in Chicago.