Bandas, Rudolph G.

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Theologian and pioneer in the U.S. catechetical movement; b. Silver Lake, Minnesota, April 18, 1896; d. St. Paul, Minnesota, July 26, 1969. After seminary studies at St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1921 and entered the University of Louvain. In 1924 he was awarded the degree of S.T.D. et M.

Bandas spent most of his priestly life as professor of dogmatic theology and catechetics and spent a period as rector of St. Paul Seminary. He taught one of the first formal courses in catechetics in the United States and authored a pioneer text on the subject, Catechetical Methods (1929). Throughout his life he wrote extensively in the field of religious education. Among his better known works are The Master Idea of St. Paul's Epistles (1925), Religious Education and Instruction (1938), and a series of booklets on biblical and catechetical problems for secondary schools. He was a long-time columnist for the Wanderer.

His most successful efforts were devoted to the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. In the same year that the National Center of the CCD was organized in the United States (1935), he was appointed its first director for the Archdiocese of St. Paula position he held with distinction for nearly 30 years. He was chairman of the National Seminary Committee of the National Center in 1945, and he served as consultant to the Congregation of Seminaries and Universities in Rome. Pope Pius XII named him a domestic prelate in 1955. Bandas was a peritus at all sessions of the Second Vatican Council. He spent the final decade of his life as pastor of St. Agnes Church in St. Paul.

Bibliography: r. a. lucker, The Aims of Religious Education in the Early Church and in the American Catechetical Movement (Rome 1966).

[j. b. collins]