Monsignor William Baver, director of cemeteries for the Diocese of Allentown and pastor of SS. Simon and Jude Parish, Bethlehem, has been elected vice president of the Catholic Cemetery Conference (CCC).
CCC, an international Roman Catholic faith network of cemeterians and suppliers, announced elections to its Board of Directors, effective Sept. 24. The election was held during the 69th Annual CCC Convention and Exposition in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“CCC is the pre-eminent resource for all Catholic Cemeteries,” said Executive Director Dave LaBarre when he made the announcement.
“As such, our executive officers and directors are committed to cemetery advocacy and education, sharing their knowledge and equipping members with the tools necessary to carry out the sacred religious function of the burial and care for the resting places of the deceased.”
Monsignor Baver has served as director of cemeteries since 1993, the year he joined CCC. He had been assistant director of diocesan cemeteries starting in 1988.
Ordained at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown in 1981, he attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia 1973-77, receiving a bachelor of arts degree (with honors) in philosophy. He attended Mary Immaculate Seminary, Northampton 1977-81, earning master of divinity and master of theology degrees.
Monsignor Baver is an Eagle Scout with Bronze Palm. He received the Bishop’s Award and St. George Emblem for his ministry in Catholic Scouting, as well as the 4th Degree of the Knights of Columbus, both in 1984.
He was chaplain to the National Board of Catholic War Veterans, receiving the Order of St. Sebastian, and became a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem in 1998 and a Knight Commander of the Order in 2001. He is chair of their Nomination Committee.
Monsignor was named a Chaplain of His Holiness, with the title of Monsignor by St. Pope John Paul II on Nov. 10, 1993. He was named a Prelate of Honor of His Holiness by Pope Benedict XVI on Dec. 6, 2007 (second highest rank of Monsignor).
He wrote the Cemetery Chart of Accounts in 1991 and created the Cemetery Administration Manual in 1997 for use in the 121 parish cemeteries of the Diocese of Allentown.
Monsignor Baver has served as CCC director at-large for the Eastern United States and Eastern Canada multiple times, as secretary and treasurer, and now as CCC vice president. He had been a member of the CCC Education Committee and chair of the CCCE Certification Committee.
Monsignor Baver also serves as conference liaison to the Technology and Certification committees. He received the CCCE designation in 2006 and completed the CCC School of Leadership and Management Excellence at John Carroll University in 2009.
He had enjoyed being a master scuba diver and assistant instructor from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). In his free time, he plays lead trumpet in the Lehigh Valley Pops Orchestra, first chair trumpet in the Liberty High School Alumni Band and trumpet in the Elm Street Jazz Big Band.
Also elected to the board were Richard Peterson, Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington, president; Mary Frick, Archdiocese of Miami, Florida, treasurer; Roman Szabelski, Archdiocese of Chicago, Illinois, secretary; Stephen Bittner, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio, immediate past president; Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Bishop-Emeritus of Tuscon, Arizona, episcopal moderator.
Also: Thomas Jordan, Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida, director-at-large, Eastern United States and Eastern Canada; Michael Welsh, Diocese of Gary, Indiana, director-at-large, Midwestern United States; Joseph Heckel, Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, director-at-large, Eastern United States and Eastern Canada; Monica Williams, Archdiocese of San Francisco, California, director-at-large, Western United States and Western Canada.
CCC, a membership association of cemeterians and related suppliers, helps Catholic cemetery staff enhance their skills in caring for the deceased and comforting their loved ones through ministry, education, networking and service opportunities.
Founded in 1949, the CCC membership includes cemeterians from 140 dioceses in 45 states; plus 10 dioceses in Canada and Australia. These members include smaller, individual parish cemeteries, as well as large multi-cemetery diocesan operations.
For more information visit www.catholiccemeteryconference.org.