Gerard F. Baumbach, Ed.D.

Emeritus Faculty, Director Emeritus, Echo Program


Gerard F. Baumbach is emeritus faculty in the McGrath Institute for Church Life and director emeritus of the Institute’s Echo Program. He joined the faculty in 2003 after a distinguished career in publishing, writing, and parish catechetical leadership. As director of Echo he was responsible for establishing strong Echo Program partnerships between dioceses of the United States and the Institute at Notre Dame. He was a concurrent professor in the Department of Theology, where he taught periodically the history and theory of catechesis and where he served for many years on the Master of Divinity and the Master of Arts in Theology committees.

Baumbach was part of the preparation process for numerous catechetical publications during his nearly 25 years at William H. Sadlier, Inc., where his last position was executive vice president and publisher. He also served on task groups of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference. He was selected for inclusion in the “Christian Educators of the 20th Century Project,” recognizing his contributions to Christian religious education. Other recognitions include two in 2018 for his book, The Way of Catechesis: Association of Catholic Publishers: Resources for Ministry (a first place award) and Catholic Press Association: Pastoral Ministry (a second place award); the 2008 NCCL Catechetical Award (with the Institute’s Center for Catechetical Initiatives), which recognized the Echo initiative; and in 2003 the F. Sadlier Dinger Award for leadership of and service to the ministry of catechesis.

Baumbach earned a bachelor’s degree from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont in 1968, a master’s degree in education (Counseling and Personnel Services Program) from the University of Maryland in 1975, and a doctoral degree in education from New York University in 1989, where he specialized in religious education. His service to catechesis began in the late 1960s and includes several years as a parish catechetical leader. He and his wife Elaine have three married sons and seven grandchildren.

Selected Publications

Book: The Way of Catechesis: Exploring Our History, Renewing Our Ministry. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 2017. Book received a 2018 Association of Catholic Publishers Award: Resources for Ministry (First Place) and a 2018 Catholic Press Association Award: Pastoral Ministry (Second Place).

Book: Letters from a Wounded Heart: Reflections to Strengthen and Comfort Your Soul. New York/Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2000.

Book: Spirituality for Lent and Easter: A Guide for Bridging the Mysteries. New York/Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1998.

Book: Experiencing Mystagogy: The Sacred Pause of Easter. New York/Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1996.

Article: “September 11 in Manhattan: Finding My Son Alive.” St. Anthony Messenger, September, 2002: 28- 32. Catholic Press Association Award: Third Place, Best Feature Article, General Interest magazines, 2003