Father Paul was born November 18, 1952 in St. Paul (MN) but his family moved to Omaha (NE) where he spent his grade and high school years. He graduated from St. John's University with a major in biology. He entered the novitiate soon after his graduation in 1976 and completed his seminary studies and was ordained in 1982. Father Paul completed a master's degree in forestry at the University of Minnesota and as partial fulfillment of his degree he developed a landscape plan for St. John's. Upon graduation in 1985 he began to put the plan into action as the land manager of St. John's Abbey. Among his many accomplishments, Father Paul implemented projects to restore the St. John's wetlands (60 acres), prairie (50 acres) and oak savanna (40 acres). He also was involved with landscaping the inner campus area and established the St. John's Arboretum.
Father Paul was nicknamed, "The Padre of the Pines," for his outstanding work with the St. John's Arboretum and his deep love for the land. In 1996 Father Paul received the Bronze Medal award from the Minnesota Horticultural Society for his dedication to land stewardship.
Father Paul was a strong supporter of the Bailey Herbarium and he is sorely missed by all after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the morning of May 4, 2000. Father Paul apparently took his last breath in the ambulance on the way to the St. Cloud Hospital when it was near the entrance to I-94. It is certainly fitting that Father Paul's spirit now blows over his beloved prairie and all the sacred lands at St. John's.
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