Bill Bauman

Father Ed Foley writes to tell us news of Father Bill Bauman, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and asks our prayers. I invited Fr. Foley to share some background for those who do not know Fr. Baumann. Here is his reply:

Bill is a priest of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, ordained in 1960.  He has always described himself as having “half a degree in music” – even though he was trained as a classical organist.  Subsequent to his ordination he was named director of music for his diocese in 1963 and director of liturgy in 1965.  Vice-president of the FDLC, he chaired their music subcommittee in the late 1960’s.  In 1969 he was “elected” by the representatives of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas to be a representative on the original incarnation of the BCL.   Bill was the chair and editorial director of the FDLC committee that produced Music in Catholic Worship, adopted and approved by the the BCL.  Bill has always been a strong voice for active partication, the song of the assembly, and the reforming vision of Vatican II.  A frequent lecturer, sometimes author, he is always a pastor, recently coming out of retirement to pastor a large parish in his home diocese.  Musical liturgy has had no greater friend, more pastoral heart, and more gentlemanly representative than Bill Bauman.  Let us all hold him close to the God he trusts.


  1. “Bill has always been a strong voice for active partication, the song of the assembly, and the reforming vision of Vatican II.”

    I witnessed this from first-hand experience. Bill hired me to serve his parish in 2002. Two headstrong liturgists from different generations: it wasn’t always a smooth collaboration, but I never had any doubt where his priorities were. After he retired, he wrote a very moving thank-you note. And when I moved on to a different parish, he had some very kind words to say.

    This is sad news.

  2. Bill has always been a real character, with a great sense of what is right and the ability to put it across forcefully.

    It’s worth noting that he was one of the principal (anonymous) authors of MCW’s precursor, the little-known The Place of Music in Eucharistic Celebrations (USCCB, 1967), the first document to mention the threefold liturgical/musical/pastoral judgment.

    In addition, he was a signatory to the Milwaukee Statement on Liturgical Music (1992) and contributed much to the meetings which gave birth to that statement.

  3. My prayers and ours for you in this time of difficulty.
    I pray for healing and all good and my community will also tomorro sunday……carson city nv

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