Allentown Priest Appointed New Rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary
Archbishop William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore and Chancellor of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, has appointed Monsignor Andrew R. Baker, a priest of the Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania, Rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. Monsignor Baker succeeds Monsignor Steven Rohlfs, who served as Rector of the Seminary since February 2005. Monsignor Baker’s appointment is effective July 15, 2015.
"I am honored and humbled by Archbishop Lori's appointment of me as the new Rector of Mount St. Mary's Seminary,” Monsignor Baker said. “I am grateful for his confidence in me and in the generosity and support of my own Ordinary, Bishop Barres.
“Pope Francis has called upon priests to go to the ‘peripheries’ to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to know the "smell of the sheep." It is my great hope that, as a faithful disciple of Christ and loyal son of His Mother, I will be able to help form and guide seminarians as they prepare to become priests of the new evangelization in the third millennium of Christianity. "
Monsignor Baker was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Allentown in 1991 and has served in various parishes. He is currently the Rector of Saint Catherine of Siena Cathedral in Allentown. He has also taught on high school faculties and served as a Catholic university chaplain. In addition, Monsignor Baker served on the faculty of St. Charles Seminary in Overbrook, Pennsylvania and on the Congregation for Bishops in Rome. He earned a License in Sacred Theology from the University of Navarre and a Doctorate from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.
“With Mr. Simon Newman, President of Mount St. Mary’s University and Bishop Paul S. Loverde, who chaired the Search Committee, I invite the prayers of the Catholic community that Monsignor Baker’s service as Rector will be a wonderful blessing for Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and for the men who will be formed for the priesthood under his able and faithful leadership,” Archbishop Lori said.
“Monsignor Baker is a superstar in the Catholic Church having a deep and extraordinary background as an educator and scholar. We are thrilled that he accepted the appointment to serve as Rector,” said President Newman. “He is also a very popular choice with our referring bishops and our Seminary community. You could almost hear the cheers at the Seminary from my office – a quarter of a mile away - when his appointment was announced. We are confident he will hold-fast the Seminary tradition of formation rooted in the human, spiritual, academic and pastoral experience, and we offer our prayerful best wishes as he comes to the Mount."
Founded in 1808 by the French immigrant missionary priest Father John Dubois, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary has a more than 200-year history and solid tradition of excellence in the formation of candidates for the Catholic priesthood. Graduate study at the seminary is also open to a limited number of non-seminarians.
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary is the second largest in the nation and its community of seminarians enrolls from U.S. dioceses and from parishes from across the globe.