Order of Premontre, Premonstratensians, Norbertines, and White Canons

R. D. James A. Wagner, O. Praem.

Wagner
Birth: September 17, 1901

Death: March 1, 1982

House: St. Norbert Abbey

Our brother James Wagner was born in Cleveland, Wisconsin, in 1901 and entered the Order in 1922, professing solemn vows in 1927. As a frat in 1924, Jimmy took on the responsibilities of a teacher and the disciplinarian of St. Norbert High.

In 1927, still a frat, Jimmy became the manager of the radio station WHBY, which operated from the fourth floor of Boyle Hall. In 1928, he opened studios in Green Bay, Appleton, and Oshkosh. In 1935, WTAQ, a much more powerful station was purchased and opened with the broadcasting of the High Mass from the National Shrine, which continued well into the 1950’s.  The college had the distinction of being the only college in the country that had two full time radio stations under its control.

From assistant pastor at St. Willibrord in 1932, Jimmy became pastor and superior of the rectory/priory in 1939. A transfer, by newly elected Coadjutor Abbot Killeen, in 1947 took him to the pastorship of St. William in Shelby, Montana, where he remained until 1960, when he became the pastor of St. Mary’s in Chester. In 1967, he was appointed to St. John’s in Somonauk, Illinois, until his retirement at the abbey in 1971. Jim died on Monday, March 1st, 1982 at the age of 80.

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