The Rev. Robert R. Beck Collection
A Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa, and Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies and Theology at Loras College in Dubuque, Robert R. Beck, D.Min., did graduate work at Aquinas Institute of Theology (M.A., Theol.), Notre Dame, The Catholic University of America (D. Min.), and the Ecole Biblique et Archaeologie in Jerusalem, Israel. His contributions to Loras College include teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in both Testaments, extensive participation as a member and chair of college committees, and collaborative work with faculty, administrators, and students to create the Father Ray Herman Center for Peace and Justice.
Fr. Beck’s scholarly publications include Nonviolent Story: Narrative Conflict Resolution in the Gospel of Mark (Orbis, 1996; reprint Wipf & Stock, 2009), Banished Messiah: Violence and Nonviolence in the Matthew's Story of Jesus (W&S, 2010), Jesus and His Enemies (Orbis, 2017), and A Light to the Centurions (W&S, 2019). You can purchase his scholarly work by clicking on any of the titles above.
Throughout his long career, Father Beck was active in ministry in parishes, on campuses, and as chaplain for the Dubuque Sisters of St. Francis. The Sisters have collected several volumes of his homilies and published them according to the Sunday liturgical cycles. In collaboration with Father Beck and the Franciscans, the Press is pleased to provide some of those homilies in electronic form here.
As an extension of his ministry, Fr. Beck has written music for liturgical settings, including: "A Gathering of Psalms," "Folkpsalms," "Pilgrims Songs" and "Openings" that you can look at here.
He also has written a musical based on the Gospel of Mark that has been performed several times and, in 1978, was auditioned for Broadway producers. Undoubtedly his best-known piece, “The Father Prayer” (often called “Beck’s Our Father”), which is a musical arrangement of The Lord’s Prayer, has been sung at many Catholic Masses and Christian worship services.
Visual Art and Newspaper Columns
For years Father Beck published line drawings with his weekly column, “Sunday’s Word,” and ran in the Dubuque Archdiocesan newspaper, The Witness. You can visit the website for The Witness and read many of those columns here. The Loras Press is delighted to be able to reproduce some of the drawings that, because of their quality, stand independently as fine examples of Father Beck’s art. The drawings are excellent resources for parishes looking who might be seeking artworks that both represent and interpret Gospel themes. Veiw Father Beck's visual art here.
Finally, Father Beck is an excellent poet, and Loras Press is proud to offer the first selection of his poetry, published in 2021 as the chapbook Ropes in Water (Loras Press, 2021). The Book will be availible for purchace online soon, and is currently for sale at Riverlights Bookstore in Dubuque, IA (563) 556-4391