Servant of God Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz died on March 16, 1992, from Lou Gehrig’s disease which left him incapacitated for years. He died in the presence of his Sisters of Mary and Brothers of Christ, which he founded in Busan, South Korea, and brought to Manila in 1985.
The amazing ministry of Father Al, as he is affectionately called, was putting up the Girls Town and Boys Town in Silang, Cavite, and Cebu. These institutions have given at least 11,000 less privileged Filipino youth access to education.
The nuns and students mark the 20th anniversary of his death on March 16 at the Girls Town in Barangay Biga in Silang. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle will lead the Concelebrated Mass at 10 a.m.
Koreans to join feast
Father Al began his ministry of helping poor abandoned children and orphans go to school in Busan, South Korea, in 1964.
To show their gratitude, the Korean Boys Town orchestra and the girls’ drum dance group are flying to Manila to perform. The Cavite Boys Town and Girls Town children will also perform at 1 p.m. It will also be a way of thanking the people supporting the Sisters of Mary.
Organizing the celebration is the Father Al’s Children Foundation Inc. RSVP contact Sister Richelle, 0920-5302171.
Servant of God
When I attended the closing of the diocesan process for the beatification of the Servant of God with then Imus Bishop Tagle as celebrant, I was overwhelmed by the big turnout; not only students and nuns but also devotees came from Manila and other places to ask for his intercession.
Msgr. Schwartz was born in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 1930. He grew up wanting to be a secular priest and working as missionary among the poor.
In 1994, he entered St. Charles Seminary in Maryland, finished his B.A. degree at Maryknoll College and studied theology at the Louvain Catholic University in Belgium. He used to spend his vacation looking after the derelicts of French society.
Msgr. Al developed a devotion to the Virgin of the Poor when he visited Banneux, Belgium. She is believed to have appeared to 11-year-old Mariette Beco on Jan. 15, 1933. He dedicated his priesthood to her upon his ordination as diocesan priest on June 29, 1957. God answered his prayer when he was assigned in Busan on Dec. 8, 1957 to work immediately among the poor.
Msgr. Schwartz in Manila
Jaime Cardinal Sin invited him to come to Manila in 1985. He started Girls Town in Sta. Mesa, bringing the Sisters of Mary. He did this immediately upon receiving the Ramon Magsaysay Award.
In 1989, Msgr. Schwartz was diagnosed of terminal illness called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). He accepted this suffering with joy and serenity as a gift from God.
Despite his deteriorating health, he established Boys Town and Girls Town in Mexico in 1990. He also put up the same in Guatemala, Brazil and Honduras.
The remains of the Servant of God are under the altar of the Virgin of the Poor Chapel in Girls Town in Silang. The chapel is a replica of the one in Banneux with a little spring flowing underneath.
Father Al, pray for us!
Those who wish to have prayer leaflets can write to me, but please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope for easier mailing.
Sr. Mercedita Ferrer of the Pious Worker Sisters of the Immaculate Conception will pronounce her temporary vows on March 10, 3:30 p.m., in the convent of the nuns at 128 Highland Drive, Blue Ridge, QC.
The order was founded by Venerable Francisco Antonio Marcucci and devotes itself to education.
The nuns run the Parochial School of St. Raphael in Calaca, Batangas.
Mother General Daniella Volpato is here for the ceremony.
The Servants of the Risen Christ (SRC) at Monasterio de Tarlac are prepared to welcome pilgrims who will spend Easter Virgil (April 7) and Easter Sunday at the Chapel of the Relic of the True Cross of Jesus.
Sally Maddatu has arranged hotel accommodation at the Majarica Hotel in Tarlac City, roundtrip transportation, dinner and breakfast for a package cost of P2,250 per pax.
Text or call Sally at 0906-2395166.
St. Joseph exhibit
The Friends of St. Joseph, headed by Dr. Danilo Trinidad Reyes, will help the nuns of Hospicio de San José set up an exhibit of images of St. Joseph, March 10-19.
Ingress of images is March 8-9. Opening is March 10 at 5 p.m., followed by Mass at 6 p.m. Different priests have been asked to celebrate Mass. Those interested to join with their St. Joseph image can text Danny at 0917-8125148.
Taking care of burn victims
The Physicians for Peace Philippines, with Robert Lane as president, and the Rotary Clubs of District 3810, headed by Gov. Ernie Choa, aimed to raise awareness on applying clinical care for burn victims during the recent National Conference on Burn Victims at Hyatt Casino Ballroom. Burn specialists arrived from Norfolk, Virginia, gave lectures.
Stations of the Cross
The Shrine of St. Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, will hold the blessing of the Stations of the Cross on March 11, 3 p.m., by Archbishop Ramon Arguelles. Mass will follow. Fr. Jojo Gonda is parish priest.
Convention of Catholic Filipino-Chinese women
Six-hundred delegates are attending the convention of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Catholic Women Organization in the new provincial convention center in Dumaguete until tomorrow. Bangued Bishop Pol Jaucian, SVD, is helping them reflect on the theme “The Eucharist broken and shared as a source of healing.”