On December 7, 2021, 145 years have passed since the death of our Founder the Servant of God, Fr. John Schneider. Wrocław bade farewell to the priest – sincerely devoted to the Church, city, parishioners, sisters … people. Father John “was like a fire that warmed with the flame of youth, burning himself in pastoral work, at work for charitable works and in creating a new Congregation. He never took any rest, he was forced to take health leave twice, ”recalled Fr. Władysław Bochnak. Father John, called the apostle of mercy, did not count time for the needy, he was an enthusiastic vicar fully present in the service for the faithful of the parish of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Piasek in Wrocław. As a parish priest, he was strongly involved in the life of the parish of St. Maciej, undertook many social and charitable activities and at the same time created and supervised the emerging new religious congregation. Intense activity for the benefit of so many souls, in so many pastoral spaces, caused premature exhaustion of the body, as a result of which he died at the age of 53. His death touched many. Archbishop Henryk Forster said about him that: “He was a great decoration of priests in Silesia, and this because of his extraordinary zeal, willpower and deep inner life.”
The funeral service was celebrated in the St. Matthias church in Wrocław by Father Robert Spiske – the founder of the Jadwiga sisters. The homilies were delivered by the parish priest of Saint Michael in Wrocław, Father Gustav Haucke, who addressed the deceased priest:
“Dear Dead Brother, come out of that beloved church of yours that you liked to restore and decorate so much! Go out with your flock and your brothers priests and go to a place of peace, a home that no one will take from you. (…). You will follow tears of gratitude and prayers of your parish, your relatives and your wards, there will be a memento of your brothers (…), your good deeds and merits will follow, for which our Lord and Judge, Jesus Christ, will reward you with joy and happiness in heaven “.
God’s servant, Fr. John Schneider died in the age of 53, on December 7, 1876 in Wrocław, on the eve of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
As spiritual daughters of Father John, on the first Tuesday of each month, we pray in all religious communities for the gift of beatification of our Founder. This year, at the suggestion of the Provincial Superior of the Polish Congregation, Sr. M. Magdalena Zabłotna, we started a novena of nine Tuesdays at the Founder on October 5. The weekly prayer combined with the conference of Sr. Elżbieta Cińcio will allow the participants of the service to learn about the stages of the life of the Servant of God. Our sisters who gather in the church on Piasek from various institutions pray together with the faithful first in adoration combined with the prayer of the rosary. Sr. Elizabeth’s speech takes place before the Holy Mass at 18.00, this time the sister introduce the profiles of the parents of Fr. John – Katarina and Jerzy John and introduce the audience to the atmosphere of the little Janek’s family home. Eucharist celebrated for the beatification of Fr. The Founder also becomes a thanksgiving and an exceptional cry of our Congregation for the spiritual good for each of us personally and for the entire Congregation.
The nine-Tuesday novena has already started. Our monastery in Racibórz Brzezie was located together with the monastery in Racibórz and Pyskowice as the beginning of this novena pilgrimage. Each Tuesday, the liturgies prepare the next designated houses and in this way all the sisters can create a spiritual bouquet of heartfelt prayer brought to God from the resting place of our Father Founder.
Sr.M. Margaret Cur