20 April 2007 – Msgr. Richard Schuler – RIP

Today is the anniversary of the death of Msgr. Richard Schuler, a well-known Church musician and pastor for many years of the Church of St. Agnes in St. Paul, MN.

This was a man who fought the good fight, in hard years, for sacred Church music and excellence in liturgy.  In his 33 years as pastor of St. Agnes, there were some 30 First Masses offered.

Papa Ratzinger knew Msgr. Schuler well, and Schuler was a friend of the Holy Father’s brother Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, who himself was a great Church musician in his day.

Card. Ratzinger would often express interest to me when I would run into him at the Palazzo Sant’Uffizio, where I worked for some years, about the music program at St. Agnes and ask about Msgr. Schuler.  Each year I would give him a program of the sacred music at St. Agnes and he always immediately looked through it with comments, “Theresienmesse… I like that one”, and so forth through the whole year.

When I heard that Msgr. Schuler had died, I sent a note to Msgr. Gänswein (now Archbishop), the personal secretary to His Holiness, asking him to inform the Pope.  I requested that Pope Benedict send a telegram, if he deemed it opportune.  His Holiness sent a telegram to St. Agnes parish in St. Paul in time for Monsignor’s Requiem (Mozart) wherein it was read to the congregation.

How many parish priests get for their funerals a telegram from the Pope?

Perhaps in your charity you would stop and say a prayer for the repose of his soul.

Also, I had made a PODCAzT in which I talk about him sometime ago.  A great many people owe him a great deal.  I trust that God has been merciful to him and that he now enjoys the heavenly choirs.

PODCAzT 21: Leo the Great on Peter – Msgr. Schuler

There’s a book of essays (Festschrift) in his honor.  Cum Angelis Canere.

And there…  To Sing With The Angels

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7 Responses to 20 April 2007 – Msgr. Richard Schuler – RIP

  1. acardnal says:

    Fr. Z, are there any musical recordings available?

  2. Alas, not very many. There were CDs of whole Masses recorded and distributed by Leaflet Missal. I wonder if they are still around.

  3. acardnal says:

    In the 1990s, I attended a Human Life International (founded by the late, great Fr. Paul Marx) annual convention in St. Paul, MN . In connection with the convention, there was a sung Mass (NO/OF) at the Cathedral in St. Paul in which Charles Gounod’s “Messe Solennelle a Sainte Cecile” was performed by the Twin Cities Catholic Chorale, Members of the Minnesota Orchestra and conducted by Msgr Richard J. SCHULER! I will never forget it, and I have a copy on audio cd.

    I will check Leaflet Missal’s website. Have a safe journey Father Z.

  4. acardnal says:

    I should add that the sung Credo with that magnificent cathedral organ was unforgettable!

  5. acardnal says:

    Just checked Leaflet Missal website. Looks like they have four different audio cd’s by Msgr Schuler for sale.

  6. jilly4life says:

    acardnal, Leaflet Missal has a recording of Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass. Here: https://www.leafletonline.com/gounod-at-st-agnes-cd

    And a Christmas CD: https://www.leafletonline.com/christmas-at-st-agnes-cd

    They also have Beethoven’s Mass in C and Haydn’s Pauken Mass.
    I have no idea about the quality of the recordings, as they were done several decades ago, I believe.

  7. acardnal says:

    Thanks Fr. Z.