Office of Religious Education

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


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.