Father Peter Laird

Father Peter Laird

Father Peter Laird, vice rector and for the past nine years a faculty member at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas, has been named vicar general and moderator of the curia of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

In making the announcement Monday, Archbishop John Nienstedt said Laird will succeed Bishop-elected Paul Sirba as vicar general in December, when Sirba takes up responsibilities as bishop of the Diocese of Duluth.

Bishop Lee Piché, a member of the St. Thomas Board of Trustees, will continue to serve as vicar general along with Laird.

Two members of the seminary’s faculty will assume new administrative responsibilities in light of Laird’s appointment. Father Christopher Beaudet will become vice rector for administration and Father Robert Pish, currently dean of men, will become vice rector for student affairs.

“As disappointed as I am to lose the assistance of Bishop-elect Sirba, I am delighted to be replacing him with a priest who has the experience, intellect and devotion that Father Laird has,” Nienstedt said.

Following his 1997 ordination, Laird served as parochial vicar at St. Olaf Catholic Church in downtown Minneapolis. More recently, in addition to his duties at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity and weekend pastoral duties in parishes throughout the archdiocese, he serves, along with Father John Bauer of the Basilica of St. Mary, as co-chair of the archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee, a role Laird will continue.

He has an S.T.D. degree from the Alphonsian Academy in Rome, an S.T.L. degree from the Pope John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University in Rome, master’s degrees in theology and divinity from the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, a law degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in the humanities from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md. He graduated from St. Thomas in 1988 with a bachelor’s in history.