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Stories of Giving

A Gift Of Education for Less Fortunate Children
The Raymond and Patricia Bahr Scholarship Fund and The Father Richard T. Lawrence Endowment Fund


Dr. Raymond Bahr and Patricia, his wife, became members of St. Vincent de Paul Parish about 15 years ago. A retired cardiologist, Dr. Bahr recalled, "We came to St. Vincent's with the idea that we're going to retire to this parish and be all soft and passive. Well, within a short period of time, we discovered that if you're a parishioner there, you get this feeling that you should be doing something." Along the way, Father Richard Lawrence, pastor of St. Vincent's, asked Dr. Bahr to be on the board of Ss. James and John Catholic Elementary School, a nearby archdiocesan school sponsored by the parish.

Father Lawrence described the school's tremendous value, "Ss. James and John is an absolute bulwark in the community. You can't see it. It's tucked away on a side street. Most people don't know it's there, but it provides a place where parents who are willing to make a sacrifice can make sure their kid has a future. People like that become the anchors for their neighborhoods. We don't have too many schools left in the city, but it's desperately important for the mission of the church, if we're going to take our Holy Father seriously, who says our mission has to be first and foremost to the poor."

Dr. Bahr, describing that mission, added, "We're trying to become a force that advocates for people who are born with less and face a lot of obstacles. Ss. James and John is at the heart of that. It's part of our evangelization … part of spreading the Gospel. So, we do our best as a board to make sure the school continues."

The Bahrs have set up two funds to benefit Ss. James and John School, one in their name and one in the name of Father Lawrence, whom they hold in the highest regard and wanted to honor.

Father Lawrence is truly appreciative of the Bahr's generosity, "The Bahrs are wonderful, committed people. They're at the point in their lives where they're looking back and seeing what their faith has meant to them, what their church has meant to them. They're stepping up to the plate with commitments that make it possible for the next generation to have the same things that they had."

Mrs. Bahr embraces the mission of her pastor and parish: "In being part of St. Vincent de Paul, we're always reaching out to the poor and to our neighbors in the inner city. And we can't think of a better way to do it than to support this inner city school that is held in such high esteem by the neighbors, the people who send their children there. For them, it's a struggle to come up with their share of the tuition, and yet they do it because they have a hope that their children will get a strong education …. a moral education that will keep them out of trouble. Most of the students go on to Catholic high schools in the area through scholarships. It creates a good future for these kids."

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