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Haas, Francis Joseph


Bishop, educator, writer, and labor relations expert;b. Racine, Wis., 18 March 1899; d. Grand Rapids, Mich., Aug. 29, 1953. He was the son of immigrant parents, Peter and Mary L. (O'Day) Haas. After attending (190413) St. Francis Seminary, Milwaukee, Wis., he was ordained for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on June 11, 1913. For two years he served as curate in Holy Rosary parish and then began teaching and study, becoming one of the American priests most closely identified with Catholic ideals of social justice. He was an instructor at St. Francis Seminary, later studied at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., and received a Ph.D. (1922) at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. In 1922 he returned to Milwaukee, where he served as professor of sociology at St. Francis Seminary and Marquette University, and from 1922 to 1931 as dean of the college departments of the seminary and editor of the Salesianum, the college's quarterly publication. He was rector of the seminary (193537), director (193135) of the National Catholic School of Social Service, Washington, D.C., and dean (1937) of the School of Social Service of Catholic University.

In June 1933, Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt named him a member of the Labor Advisory Board of the National Recovery Administration (NRA) and in October of that year called on him to accept appointment to the National Labor Board. He was appointed (1934) labor representative on the General Code Authority of the NRA and member of the National Committee on Business and Labor Standards. Haas won national renown as a strike mediator; he was widely commended for his work as Federal mediator of a Minneapolis, Minn., truck drivers strike (1934), and he was chosen (September 1935) by Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins to be impartial chairman of a board to arbitrate a labor dispute involving 13,000 cigar makers in Tampa, Fla.

In 1943 Fr. Haas was appointed by President Roosevelt as first chairman of the U.S. Committee on Fair Employment Practices. In the same year he was named bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids and was consecrated on November 18 by Abp. Amleto G. Cicognani, Apostolic Delegate to the U.S. Haas continued his work on social problems while administering the Diocese of Grand Rapids. In 1945 he was named by Pres. Harry S Truman to serve on a 15 member Committee on Civil Rights. Haas wrote Shop Collective Bargaining (1922); Man and Society, An Introduction to Sociology (1930); and, as member of the Committee on Long-Range Work Relief of the National Resources Planning Board, Security, Work and Relief Policies.

[g. c. higgins]

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