Offices of Religious Education & Adult Faith Formation

The Origin of the Bishop Lucker Lectures

It is fitting that the Bishop Lucker Lecture bears the name of the late Bishop Raymond A. Lucker, second bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm (1975-2000). In his nearly fifty years as a priest, including thirty as a bishop, Bishop Lucker was a pioneer and leader in the catechetical movement and a renowned lecturer of national prominence.

In October 2000, he established in the Diocese of New Ulm the Bishop Lucker Lecture endowment fund. The initial gift to this endowment fund was made by Bishop Lucker himself. His intent was to ensure that people in the diocese would continue to be enlightened and challenged by leading teachers and practitioners of the Catholic faith.

Monetary contributions to the Bishop Lucker Lecture endowment fund, no matter how small or large, will continue to benefit the people of the Diocese of New Ulm. Please consider making a contribution on behalf of present and future generations of Catholics. Send your tax-deductible donation to the diocesan Pastoral Center, 1421 6th Street North, New Ulm, MN 56073. For further information, email

2019 Bishop Lucker Lecture

"The New Pentecost - Receiving the Fullness of the Holy Spirit”

Monday, March 11, 2019       7 pm    Church of St. Catherine, Redwood Falls

Pope St. John XXIII led the Bishops of the world at the Second Vatican Council to pray to the Holy Spirit for a particular grace for the Church in our time. Together the Bishop’s cried out with one voice, asking the Holy Spirit to: “Renew your wonders in our day as by a New Pentecost.” Since the Council each one of our beloved popes have both identified signs of the grace of a New Pentecost emerging in the Church, and they have called upon all the faithful to join them in this same prayer for the outpouring of the grace of a New Pentecost. What exactly are we asking for in that prayer? What are the visible signs the recent popes point to as indicators of this grace at work in the Church today? And finally, how can each one of us respond personally to this moment of grace?

Peter Herbeck is the vice president and director of missions for Renewal Ministries. For more than thirty years, he has been actively involved in evangelization and Catholic renewal throughout the US, Canada, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Peter is a co-host for the weekly television programs The Choices We Face and Crossing the Goal. He also hosts the daily radio show Fire on the Earth. He is a frequent conference speaker, has authored When the Spirit Comes in Power and When the Spirit Speaks, and has produced CDs and booklets about discipleship and life in the Spirit. Peter is involved with i.d.9:16, an outreach to Catholic young adults sponsored by Renewal Ministries. Peter and his wife Debbie have four children and reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Click here for flyer.

Click here for interview with Peter Herbeck published in The Prairie Catholic January-February, 2019.


2018 Bishop Lucker Lecture - "The Role of Healing in Evangelization"

Tuesday, March 20, 2018       7 pm    Church of St. Catherine, Redwood Falls

Many Catholics today think of miraculous healings as something relatively rare, found mainly in the lives of great saints or at shrines like Lourdes. Yet Scripture shows that healings are meant to be a normal part of the life of the Church, especially in the context of evangelization. Scripture professor Mary Healy will explain the implications for ordinary Catholics of the Church’s mandate to be a “field hospital” in a world filled with people in need of healing.

Dr. Mary Healy is professor of Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and an international speaker. Her doctorate is in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. She is a general editor of the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture and author of its volumes The Gospel of Mark and Hebrews. Her other books include Men and Women Are from Eden: A Study Guide to John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and Healing: Bringing the Gift of God’s Mercy to the World. Dr. Healy serves as chair of the Doctrinal Commission of International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services in Rome. She also serves the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian unity as a member of the Pentecostal-Catholic International Dialogue. She was appointed by Pope Francis as one of the first three women ever to serve on the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

Click here for flyer.

Click here for interview with Peter Herbeck published in the Prairie Catholic January-February of 2019.


2017 Bishop Lucker Lecture - "The Rise of Sexual Expressionism in the Law"

Presenter: Helen Alvaré, Professor of Law

Professor Alvaré teaches Family Law, Law and Religion and Property Law at George Mason University School of Law. She publishes on matters concerning marriage, parenting, non-marital households, and the First Amendment religion clauses. She is faculty advisor to the law school’s Civil Rights Law Journal, and the Latino/a Law Student Association, a consultor for the Pontifical Council of the Laity (Vatican City), an advisor to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (Washington, D.C.), founder of, and an ABC news consultant. She cooperates with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations as a speaker and a delegate to various United Nations conferences concerning women and the family.

In addition to her books, and her publications in law reviews and other academic journals, Professor Alvaré publishes regularly in news outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and USA Today. She also speaks at academic and professional conferences in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Australia.

Prior to joining the faculty of George Mason, Professor Alvaré taught at the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America; represented the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops before legislative bodies, academic audiences and the media; and was a litigation attorney for the Philadelphia law firm of Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young.

Professor Alvaré received her law degree from Cornell University School of Law and her master’s degree in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America.

Click here to read interview with Bishop Lucker Lecture presenter, Helen Alvaré that was featured in the March issue of The Prairie Catholic.


2016 Bishop Lucker Lecture - Blessed are Those Who are Persecuted - Today's Christian Martyrs and How We cAn Respond

Presenter:  John L. Allen, Jr.

Today’s news we hear very little of the persecutions and martyrdom of Christians, fellow Catholics. Yes, we hear about the beheadings of Christians in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, but there are many more places where it is dangerous for Christians, for Catholics to share the faith, to practice the faith, and to even exist.

John Allen, well known journalist on Catholicism, associate editor for the Boston Globe as well as associate editor for Crux, shares stories of courage and faith of people around the world who are persecuted and even face death because of the faith. And in this Year of Mercy, he will share how we, in the Diocese of New Ulm, can respond to these Christians, especially our fellow Catholics who put their lives on the line for the Catholic faith.

Allen is associate editor of The Boston Globe after 16 years as the prize-winning Senior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter.  He also serves as the Senior Vatican Analyst for CNN. He’s the author of seven best-selling books on the Vatican and Catholic affairs, and writes frequently on the Church for major national and international publications. He’s also a popular speaker on Catholic affairs, both in the United States and abroad. Click here for photo highlights of the evening.


Bishop Lucker Lecture 2015 - "The Future of Religious Liberty in America"

Presenter: Fr. Raymond de Souza

Fr. Raymond de Souza was ordained a Catholic priest on July 20, 2002, for the Archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario. Since 2004 he has served as chaplain at Newman House, the   Roman Catholic chaplaincy at Queen's University. Since 2006 he has been pastor of the Sacred Heart of Mary Parish on Wolfe Island, where he lives.

Fr. de Souza currently teaches at Queen's in the Faculty of Education and in the Economics Department. He is a longstanding weekly columnist for the "National Post," and   contributes a weekly column to "The Catholic Register," Canada's largest Catholic newspaper. He is also the editor-in-chief of "Convivium," a magazine examining the role of faith in our common life.