Hilary Baumann Hacker

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Most Rev. Hilary Baumann Hacker
Bishop of Bismarck
Church Roman Catholic Church
See Bismarck
In office March 14, 1957—June 28, 1982
Predecessor Lambert Anthony Hoch
Successor John Francis Kinney
Ordination June 4, 1938
Consecration February 27, 1957
Personal details
Born (1913-01-10)10 January 1913
New Ulm, Minnesota
Died 6 November 1990(1990-11-06) (aged 77)
Bismarck, North Dakota

Hilary Baumann Hacker (January 10, 1913 – November 6, 1990) was the Roman Catholic Bishop of Bismarck from 1957 to 1982.

Hacker was born to Emil and Sophia (née Bauman) Hacker in New Ulm, Minnesota.[1] He attended Holy Trinity High School for two years before entering Nazareth Hall Preparatory Seminary.[1] He studied at St. Paul Seminary from 1932 to 1938, and was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop John Murray on June 4, 1938.[2]

He briefly served as assistant pastor at the Church of the Nativity in St. Paul before being sent to Rome for graduate studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, from where he received a degree in canon law.[1] Following his return to the United States, he was chancellor of the Archdiocese of St. Paul from 1941 to 1945, when he became vicar general of the Archdiocese.[1]

On December 29, 1956, Hacker was appointed the fourth Bishop of Bismarck, North Dakota, by Pope Pius XII.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on February 27, 1957 from Archbishop William Brady, with Bishops Francis Schenk and James Byrne serving as co-consecrators, at the Cathedral of St. Paul.[2] Installed as Bishop on the following March 14, he was only 44-years-old at the time of his appointment and the youngest bishop to be chosen for the church in western North Dakota.[1]

Hacker attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965, and dedicated much of his tenure implementing the Council's reforms, especially the Novus Ordo Mass and greater participation of the laity.[1] His tenure was also marked by high Catholic school enrollment, as well as the founding of Bishop Ryan High School and Trinity High School. He also established an annual appeal called God's Share; between 1956 and 1963, the annual collection rose from $165,000 to $225,000.[1] Following 25 years as ordinary of the Diocese of Bismarck, he resigned on June 28, 1982, spending his retirement at the Church of Christ the King in Mandan and later at Emmaus Place, a retirement home for priests completed in 1986.[1]

Hacker died at age 77 in St. Alexius Medical Center, and is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Bismarck.


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Lambert Anthony Hoch
Bishop of Bismarck
Succeeded by
John Francis Kinney