Father Aloysius Schwartz
In 2003, the Archdiocese of Manila, Philippines, formally opened the cause for canonization of Reverend Monsignor Aloysius Schwartz. "Father Al", as he was affectionately known, was born in Washington, D.C., on September 30, 1930. He attended Holy Name School and celebrated several of his sacraments here in Holy Name Church. He was declared Venerable by Pope Francis on January 23, 2015, in recognition of his life of heroic virtue.
As we pray for the beatification of Fr. Al and in turn ask for a miracle, keep in mind the connection he has to our parish. Look at the great things God did through him! If we were to be such good and humble servants; what great works could God do through us?
Aloysius was the third of eight children and heard the call to the priesthood at a young age. In 1944, he entered St. Charles Seminary in Maryland, finished his B.A. Degree at Maryknoll College and studied his theology at Louvain Catholic University in Belgium. He used to spend his vacation helping at the rag-pickers' camps for the outcasts of the French society. Visiting Banneux, where the Virgin of the Poor appeared, he was more inspired to dedicate his priesthood to the service of the poor in fulfillment of Mary's message.
He was ordained a diocesan priest on June 29, 1957 and was assigned in Busan, South Korea on December 8, 1957. He founded the Religious Congregation of the Sisters of Mary to serve the poorest of the poor on August 15, 1964 and the Brothers of Christ on May 10, 1981. He established Boystowns and Girlstowns to take care, educate, and give a bright future to orphans, the abandoned and children coming from very poor families. He also built hospitals and sanatoriums for very indigent patients; hospices for the homeless, handicapped elderly men, children with special needs and single mothers. He was also involved in pro-life activities.
In 1985, he started new work in the Philippines. In 1989, he was diagnosed with a terminal illness, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which he accepted with joy and serenity as a gift from God. In spite of his deteriorating health, he also established a Boystown and Girlstown in Mexico in 1990.
With humility, courage and unwavering faith, he suffered and accepted humiliations, criticisms, trials, pains, and difficuties, just to be able to serve and love God through the poor. His illness made him immobile but still even in a wheelchair, he continued to fulfill his duties with joy. He spent hours before the Blessed Sacrament, praying the rosary, hearing confessions, and heroically preaching in words and examples, the virtues of truth, justice, chastity, charity and humility. His love for God and the poor consumed him. He not only helped the poor, but he also lived poor.
On March 16, 1992, he breathed his last at the Girlstown in Manila and he was buried at the Boystown in Cavite, Philippines.
The Sisters of Mary and the Brothers of Christ continue to live his charism of serving gratuitously tens of thousands of the poorest of the poor in Korea, Philippines, Mexico, Guatemala and Brazil.
-Biography from Canonization Prayer Card, Archdiocese of Manila
Visit the Parish Photo Galleries page for more images of Father Al, and Father Michael's visit to the Sisters of Mary Girlstown in Mexico.