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May 14, 2017

Trustees name rector to lead Saint Joseph’s

RENSSELAER — The Board of Trustees of Saint Joseph’s College has named Father Barry Fischer, CPPS, to coordinate and oversee the initiatives that are under way to re-engineer the college.

Operations at the college were suspended after commencement on May 6.

Father Fischer will serve as rector. A 1969 graduate of Saint Joseph’s College, he is a former moderator general of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, the religious sponsors of the college. (Related story: ‘I’m going to do whatever I can to help — Let’s work together’)

The moderator general provides leadership for all the Missionaries serving in more than 20 countries around the globe. In his 12 years as moderator general, Father Fischer routinely worked with many groups and across many cultures around the world.

Most recently, he served as director of the Precious Blood Spirituality Center in Salzburg, Austria.

Fr. Fischer will assume his new duties on May 13, 2017. He has been in residence on campus since early May. Other members of the transition team will be announced as appointments are made.

Fr. Fischer is committed to helping navigate our way through the transition to bring forth a re- engineered Saint Joseph’s. “I am very appreciative that Fr. Fischer has agreed to help with the transition and I think he’ll be a real asset,” said Fr. Larry Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S., Provincial Director of the Cincinnati Province of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. “He has vast experience at bringing people together to work for a common goal. Chairman of the Board Benedict Sponseller and I have no doubt that Fr. Fischer can be a healing presence who unites us and helps us stay true to our mission as we move forward,” Fr. Hemmelgarn said. “Fr. Fischer will lead the way as we work through this transition.”

In previous assignments, Fr. Fischer has been able to bring people together, and then bring them along on new initiatives. One of his successes was in working with another religious institution that was mired in seemingly intractable problems. He served as its superior general for four years, with full authority over its financial, administrative and spiritual operations. Fr. Fischer was able to work with its members to help them see a path to a new, more promising future.

An excellent communicator, he is also an author who has led retreats and presented at conferences around the world. He has served in school administration and as a director of seminarians. During his 2016 commencement address at SJC, he told the graduates, “You won’t all become rich nor will you necessarily venture into foreign countries, but each and every one of you can make a difference in the lives of someone else. And that is where you must begin.”

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