In today’s Gospel, the Lord Jesus will command his disciples; Let your loins be girded, and let your torches be lit. And you, be like those who are waiting for your master when he returns from the wedding feast, to open to him immediately when he comes and shakes.
Servant of God Fr. John Schneider wanted to prepare as best as possible to meet Christ when he received the sacrament of priesthood. After passing the matriculation examination at the Carolinum in Nysa, which took place on September 20, 1845, he went to study in Wrocław with 13 classmates. Only one of the high school graduates chose medical studies, the rest enrolled in theology.
In the time of our Founder, if a candidate for the priesthood wanted to enter a theological seminary, he had to first, as a layperson, graduate from theological studies. The University of Wrocław had a faculty of Catholic theology with 199 students, of course only men, and a faculty of Evangelical theology with 72 students in the academic year 1845/46. The students lived in private stations. John Schneider rented a room in Ostrów Tumski next to the church of St. Krzyża, in the tenement house at No. 9. He suffered a lot from cold. He lived with a friend in an unburned room. To warm the stove a bit, they put a candle stump in it. When the owner of the lodgings noticed this, she started to burn them in the stove at her own expense.
For three years, from 1845 to 1848, he studied theology and served as a volunteer in the 11th Grenadier Regiment in Wrocław. He used the experience gained in the army during the revolution that broke out on March 6, 1848. in Wrocław on the wave of the spring of peoples and solidarity with social movements in France and Austria. In Wrocław, there were bloody clashes with the revolutionary-minded inhabitants of the city. The speeches were left-wing and anti-clerical. During the riots, revolutionaries attacked the apartments of members of the cathedral chapter in Ostrów Tumski. It was then that John Schneider organized a team of fellow students, leading it himself, and defended the endangered canons of Wrocław against the attackers. His brave attitude won him the kindness of the members of the Wrocław chapter and his colleagues awarded him the title of “generalissimo”.
After three years of studies at the University of Wrocław, the Servant of God entered the seminary in October 1848, which at that time was called the Alumnate and was located in the place where the Archdiocese Library building stands today. Candidates for the priesthood were trained in pastoral theology, liturgy and asceticism for 9 months.
The superiors of the Students gave Father John the following opinion: “Big, healthy. sufficient talent, satisfactory zeal, satisfactory behavior, diligent character, compatible – with good will, sermons also satisfactory, catechism satisfactory ”.
During his stay in the Aluminae, John Schneider received a clerical attire, tonsure and four lower priestly orders: ostiarate, language, exorcist and acolyte, and three higher ones: sub deaconate, diaconate and presbyterate. He was ordained to the deacon by auxiliary Bishop Daniel Latusska on June 21, 1849 in the Church of St. Cross. Along with him, 38 alumni from the Archdiocese of Wrocław and 4 from the Archdiocese of Olomouc were ordained.
He was ordained a priest by the bishop of the Archdiocese of Wrocław, Prince Bishop Melchior von Diepenbrock on July 1, 1849 in the Church of St. Cross. The day of priestly ordination of Fr. John Schneider considered it the most important in his life. It was a day for him on which, after several years of preparation, he met his Master in the sacrament of priesthood. He was prepared for this solemn moment by difficult events, marked by material poverty, requiring great denial and faithfulness to his own life vocation.
How do I perceive the difficult events that I face in my own life? Do they prepare me to meet Christ?
Sr.M. Elżbieta Cińcio