Catechist, b. in the Diocese of Ratisbon, February 16, 1784; d. January 7, 1873
Haid, HERENAUS, catechist, b. in the Diocese of Ratisbon, February 16, 1784; d. January 7, 1873. His parents were quite destitute, and Haid, in his earliest youth, was deprived of all schooling. He was a shepherd’s boy and had learned from his pious mother only how to say the rosary and to recite the little catechism of Canisius. Despite privation and obstacles, he finished his preparatory studies at Neuburg and his theological studies at Landshut. At Munich, which diocese he entered (1807) after his ordination, he obtained the degree of Doctor Of Divinity, in 1808. But parochial work was not to be his field. His relations with Sailer (q.v.) inclined him to a literary life and among the first shorter productions of his pen was a treatise “Der Rosenkranz nach Meinung der kath. Kirche” (Landshut, 1810). It was through Sailer’s intervention too that he was called to St. Gall as professor of exegesis. Here he taught from 1813 to 1818, and also acted as spiritual director in the seminary. His ability was soon recognized even at Munich, and he was called back and placed in charge of an important parish. The exasperation shown in anti-religious circles of Munich at his return is the best possible evidence of his apostolic zeal and energy. After much chicanery and government pressure he was relegated to a country parish (1824). But he ventured to return to the capital under Ludwig and was highly honored by his bishop.
One of his most intimate friends, Dr. Ringseis, has paid in his “Erinnerungen” (I, p. 113) a glowing tribute to Haid’s labors as a confessor. His life work was the establishment of the catechism course in his church of Unsere liebe Frau, whereby he has merited a place in the history of catechetics. The origin and growth of this foundation is described in his large catechetical work “Die gesamte christliche Lehre in ihrem Zusammenhang” (7 vols., Munich, 1837-45). In the preface to the seventh volume he explains the manner in which he was wont to conduct his catechizing. In his simple statements is to be found a complete theory or system of catechetics. He lays special stress on the Roman catechism and the catechism of Canisius. The deep veneration in which Haid, from his earliest youth, had held the latter found expression in his later writings, when he not only edited under different forms and translated the “Summa doctrinae christian” of Blessed Peter Canisius, but also published some of the smaller works and a comprehensive biography of their author. During the closing years of his life he was afflicted with almost total blindness, but he bore his affliction with the greatest resignation. When death claimed him he had almost reached his ninetieth year. An account of a number of Haid’s smaller works, not mentioned above, is to be found in the third volume of Kayyser’s “Bucherlexikon” (Leipzig, 1835), 16.