Family: Parents, Dave and Suzanne; siblings Lauren, Natalie and Michael
Home parish: St. Paul in Fenton
Education: Bowles Elementary (1st); Uthoff Valley Elementary (2nd-5th); Rockwood South Middle School; Rockwood Summit High School; Cardinal Glennon College; Kenrick School of Theology
The call: Father Baer’s parents instilled in their son the desire for faith, self-sacrifice and humility. He attended youth group gatherings and was struck by a speaker at a Steubenville youth conference who mentioned going to daily Mass. It was in the dark, quiet mornings with Jesus in the Eucharist at daily Mass, where Father Baer began to feel a desire to become a priest.
At the end of his sophomore year of high school, he made a retreat at the seminary and felt an overwhelming sense of peace there, and a confirmation from Jesus that he was being called to His priesthood. “Just as wheat and grapes must first be destroyed to bring about the true manhood of Jesus in the Eucharist, so I have been transformed into the true man God the Father desires me to be,” he said of his time in formation. “The only way I know to be more joyful is by following Jesus even more closely.”
Father Baer is most excited to “experience how prayer will change as a priest. There’s going to be a new identity that I’m given at priesthood, which is a unique configuration to Jesus Christ, and to pray as a priest is going to be something totally new and exciting to experience.”