Fr. Ray Herman

Fr. Ray HermanOctober 20, 2000 was an important day in the life of the Archdiocese of Dubuque as we commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of Fr. Raymond Herman, an Archdiocesan priest. As we remember the life, missionary work and death of Fr. Ray Herman, we also remember all of those committed to serving the needs of the missions across the country and throughout the world. In addition to celebrating the memories and the ministry of Fr. Herman, we also celebrated the fact that the Catholic Church recognizes him in a particular way as an extraordinary “witness of faith.” The official title of “martyr” is restricted only to those to whom the church officially grants it. Nevertheless, we see “martyrdom” qualities in Fr. Ray Herman. The Church reminds us that martyrs and witnesses of the faith help us recall that certain truths are so fundamental that they may need to be defended even to the death. Also, martyrs and witnesses of faith serve as a Jubilee year reminder of the universal call to holiness.


As a follow up to the anniversary remembrance commemorating his death, this packet of information has been assembled. These materials are compiled to help students, especially grades six through twelve, understand the life and commitment of Fr. Ray, through the themes of vocations, missions, martyrdom, and Bolivian life. Materials include:


  • A video regarding Fr. Herman’s life and dedication to the people of Bolivia.
  • Study guide and activities to accompany the video.
  • Current articles written from different perspectives regarding Fr. Herman’s life.
  • A direct translation of the primary source, Blood in Latin America, by the Social
  • Pastoral Commission in Bolivia.
  • Information regarding mission conditions in Bolivia.
  • Vocation materials including activities, grades K-12 and young adult.
  • Other resources including materials that are available in the Archdiocesan Media Center

Please use these materials in any way you can to share the life of Fr. Herman.
Our gratitude goes to Loras College for their assistance on this project. Special thanks to Jim Goodmann, Coordinator of the Ray Herman Peace and Justice Center, for providing some of the materials. Also special thanks to Craig Schaefer, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts, and his associates in the Video Communications Center for producing the video.

In addition, these materials are aligned with the following religion outcomes (adapted from By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them, by Lorraine Ozar, Ph.D.) which have been designated as the basis of our programs. These outcomes include:

  • to acknowledge and affirm the diverse cultural expressions of Catholicism. The Catholic Church is a global community consisting of persons whose cultural mores enrich the experience and tradition of the ethnic church.
  • to demonstrate an appreciation for faith community as the way we come to know God. A relationship with God is not a private affair. A dynamic faith community is essential to the spiritual formation of its members.
  • to engage in service to the community (e.g., family, parish, local, national and global) in response to the Gospel call. By virtue of Baptism, Catholics are called to discipleship which is manifest in loving service to others.
  • to examine the variety of Christian vocations as ways to respond to the Baptismal call to a life of service. By virtue of baptism, every Christian is called to service. This call is fulfilled through a variety of vocations and ways of service.
  • to demonstrate the relationship between faith and culture (e.g., through arts, social sciences, sciences, technology, etc.) Faith and culture inform each other in providing meaning, purpose and direction to human life.

Our hope is that these materials will aid all forms of religious education in spreading the Gospel messages that were the cornerstones of Fr. Ray Herman’s life. Thank you in advance for incorporating these materials into your curriculum.