WCCO Radio on Friday will name Monsignor James Habiger, who has lived or worked at St. Thomas since 1980, its “Good Neighbor” of the day in honor of the 60th anniversary of his ordination into the Roman Catholic priesthood.
The award will be broadcast at three times on Friday – 7:52 a.m., 12:40 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. – on WCCO (830 on the AM dial).
Habiger was ordained May 19, 1951. He served in parishes in Austin, Winona and Rochester and was high school principal at St. Augustine in Austin and Winona Cotter before serving as superintendent of education for the Diocese of Winona from 1960 to 1976. He was executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference from 1980 to 1995.
He has lived in the Faculty Residence at St. Thomas since 1980 and assisted in Campus Ministry with liturgies after his retirement from the conference. He received the John A. Ryan Award from St. Thomas in 1995 for outstanding contributions in social justice.
To honor his parents, Habiger established the Joseph and Edith Habiger Institute for Catholic Leadership in the Center for Catholic Studies at St. Thomas to provide students with leadership formation opportunities. Another program, the Habiger Lectures Series, brings lecturers, scholars-in-residence and artists-in-residence to St. Thomas every semester.
Habiger celebrated Masses noting his 60 years of priesthood on May 22 in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas at St. Thomas and June 5 at the Church of St. Peter in North St. Paul, where he assists on weekends.