Two Former Faculty Named Emeritus Professors

Two long-time members of our seminary community with 70 combined years of service to the Josephinum recently were granted the status of Professor Emeritus by Very Reverend Steven P. Beseau, Rector/President.

Mr. Peter Veracka, MLS, retired in 2021 as Director of Library Services. For nearly 45 years, he worked to build the collection of the A.T. Wehrle Memorial Library, now legendary among faculty, students, visitors, returning alumni, and guest lecturers, all of whom recognize its high quality. Deeply regarded for his dedication, tireless work ethic, generosity of spirit, and willingness to assist anyone with resources and services, Peter led the library through tremendous growth and development during his tenure as director. “In granting Mr. Veracka emeritus professor status, we honor his remarkable career and enduring legacy,” said Father Beseau. “This honor expresses our deepest gratitude for his immeasurable impact on our seminary community and the generations of students, professors, and scholars who continue to benefit from his work, wisdom, and guidance.”

Providentially, Dr. James Yeager joined the Josephinum faculty as Director of Sacred Music on November 22, 1984 – the Feast of Saint Cecilia, patron saint of organists. For 25 years, Dr. Yeager demonstrated extraordinary vision, creativity, and passion, elevating the Josephinum’s music program to new heights of excellence. Beyond his role as a director, Dr. Yeager served as a mentor, role model, and inspiration to countless seminarians, some of whom were also aspiring musicians. A passionate advocate for the arts, Dr. Yeager established – and directed until his retirement in 2009 – the i Fiori Musicali performing arts series, enjoyed by the local community.

This April, Dr. Yeager visited the Josephinum as a guest of Good Shepherd Award honoree Bishop Shawn McKnight T’94, who was a Josephinum seminarian during Dr. Yeager’s tenure. During the visit, Dr. Yeager was the much-surprised recipient of the professor emeritus status from Father Beseau, who noted, “Dr. Yeager’s profound influence not only enriched the musical landscape of our institution but left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all who have had the privilege of experiencing his artistry.”