Msgr. Richard J. Schuler – RIP (Wake and Funeral Information)

Msgr. Richard J. Schuler passed away on 20 April at about 2:20 a.m., Central Time.

He leaves a great legacy which will endure.

"Well done, good and faithful servant… enter into the joy of your master." (cf. Matthew 25:23)


A wake will be held Monday, April 23, at 4:00 PM at the Church of St. Agnes. It will conclude at 8:00 PM with sung Latin Vespers.

Requiem Mass

A Solemn High Mass will be celebrated Tuesday, April 24, at 7:00 PM at the Church of St. Agnes. Members of the Twin Cities Catholic Chorale will sing W. A. Mozart’s Requiem.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Tim Ferguson says:

    The passing of a giant. I’m experiencing a flood of memories of the times I spent with Fr. Schuler, his kindness to me, his example of pastoral caring, his wit and the twinkle in his eye. I look forward to seeing the introduction of his canonization cause, but in the meantime, I will pray for his soul.

    I understand that they have strong coffee in heaven, and that the angels play Mozart just for fun. Himself should enjoy that!

  2. John Polhamus says:

    I have heard much of Msgr. Schuler by reputation, and as a musician I am grateful for his dedication to enriching both the liturgy and enlarging the hearts of the faithful through the presence of great music in it. Thank you Msgr., we bless the memory of your lifetime of effort and achievement AMDG.

  3. danphunter1 says:

    Eternal rest grant unto him O,Lord
    And let perpetual light shine
    upon him,
    May his soul and all the souls
    of the faithful departed,
    Through the mercy of God
    Rest in peace.Amen

  4. Legion of Mary says:

    I don’t know much about Msgr Schuler but it sounds like he was one of the pre-Vatican II priests that survived the revolution and remained ever faithful to the Church.

  5. Fr. Pasley says:

    May he rest in peace. What a magnificent priest and a wonderful man. I know he will intercede for us.

  6. He had an indirect influence on my pastor and parish. The whole reason we were able to start chant and Latin was due to a friend who had helped in singing at St. Agnes and learned how sing and teach chant.
    I owe a great deal to Msgr. Schuler’s influence.

    Requiescat in pace.

  7. Thomas says:

    I know it’s a big loss for you personally, Fr., and I will never forget the beauty of Holy Mass at St. Agnes. He, you, and the liturgy he promoted so beautifully were major factors in the rebirth of my Catholic faith. Our loss is surely Heaven’s gain.



  8. A holy death as he was taken at the Mercy hour.

  9. I regret that I never got the CMAA colloquiums soon enough to meet this great priest.

    Requiescat in pace.

  10. TJM says:

    Msgr. Schuler was one of the great lights of the Church who preserved and passed on to future
    generations of Catholics their true liturgical and musical patrimony. Requiescat in Pace!Tom

  11. Father DiMaria says:

    In 1989 seven other seminarians and I traveled from Philadelphia
    to the Church of St. Agnes for the Latin Liturgy Convention.
    (We later got in trouble with the seminary officials for going!)
    While there Msgr. Schuler invited us to table several times
    where we dined and enjoyed great conversation. Before we
    left he gave each of us copies of a book by his nephew and
    recordings of sacred music from St. Agnes choir. It was the
    first of several visits to St. Paul for me. I was thrilled
    when Msgr. asked me, shortly after my ordination, to sing
    the High Mass for the 25th anniversary of the Wanderer Forum.
    It certainly was one of my liturgical “high points.” Msgr.
    later visited me in Philadelphia on a few occasions. It was
    a privlege to know the man and to be so positively influenced
    by him. May this great man of God rest in peace. He sowed
    many good seeds. May they continue to bear fruit.

  12. ray from mn says:

    The Abbey-Roads2 blog has posted a biography of Msgr Schuler written in 1986 here:

  13. Tom and Sherri Larson says:

    I think Monsignor would have liked me to enter the seminary, so it was a little awkward calling him to tell him I was engaged to be married. His reply was so funny: “Am I supposed to laugh, weep, or wish you congratulations?”

    Palm Sunday, 1992 was the first time I visited St. Agnes Church. I had been away from the church, in no small part due to the banality of liturgy – though I didn’t know there could be anything better. On a recommendation from a friend I visited the parish.

    I had never been to a Latin Mass. I had never heard a sung mass.

    That day I felt like I was being introduced to my religion for the first time. It was my religion, but apparently it had not been presented to me until that Palm Sunday. And it was clear that there was a lot more to it than I had originally thought. The Liturgy itself made it clear that the Church and some of its ministers possessed and understood a great deal more than I imagined. I had a lot to learn, and it was clear to me that the folks at St. Agnes were going to teach me.

    That was my first Latin Mass. I returned for Holy Thursday and the Vigil before I had to return to College. I didn’t understand then the Latin of the Mass, but it was clear that the faith expressed in those liturgies was total, and I needed to be there. I’d had it with half-way Catholicism. At St. Agnes the faith was on display gloriously. Here the faith seemed as ancient as it did strong and vibrant.

    And from that Holy Week I determined that I was going to learn and do my part to preserve the Gregorian melodies.

    I expect that I am unaware of much of Monsignor’s influence on my faith formation, but for that part of which I am aware, I am and will always be exceedingly grateful.

  14. M says:

    Fr. Z,

    I am planning to attend St. John Vianney Seminary in the fall and wanted to attend the Tridentine Mass at St. Agnes Parish. With the passing of Msgr. Schuler, will it still be available? I hope so…

    I would appreciate it if you could please email me what you think.

  15. Tim from St. Agnes says:


    St. Agnes does not offer the Tridentine Mass. All Masses are Novus Ordo and some (10 AM Sunday
    Saturday at 830, the anticipatory first Saturday night, and the all school Masses on alternate weeks) are
    in Latin. The new pastor, Fr. Ubel, and his predecessor, Fr. Welzbacher have both maintained this schedule.

    I am a parishioner.

    Fr. Z, many parishioners hope to see you at Msgr. Schuler’s funeral.

    God Bless,


  16. M says:

    Thanks, Tim. Is there a Tridentine Mass offered anywhere in or near St. Paul, Minnesota?

  17. M: Yes, St. Augustine in South St. Paul has a Tridentine Mass at 11:30 a.m. on Sundays.

  18. M-
    Yes, the parish which regularly offers the indult “Tridentine” Mass is St. Augustine’s in South Saint Paul. But I highly recommend checking out St. Agnes, too. It’s a great place. (Take it from this collegiate parishoner who joined the Church because of the liturgies there.) :-)

    Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetuam luceat ei.

  19. dcs says:

    Fr. Z., is there an address to which one might send a Mass card?

  20. Gordo says:

    Christ is Risen!

    Msgr. Schuler’s life was a blessing to the whole Church. I feel privileged to have known and worked with him for two years.

    May his memory be eternal!


  21. Bro. Roger says:

    Msgr. Schuler was a definitie light in the darkness. While liiving in Minnesota for seven years he graciously invited me to stay in the rectory for those Holy Weeks. It was an honor to have known this man and experience those marvelous liturgies of that Holy Season in such a manner never offered before. It is fitting that this great man will be remembered with Mozart’s Requiem for his last Mass in this world.

    Bro. Roger

  22. Dan Soderlund says:

    As with the passing of Bishop Paul Dudley a few months ago, I am saddened that we have lost another great warrior of the Catholic Church. I am, however, overjoyed that this saint on earth is now gaining for us even more graces at the feet of our Merciful Savior and His Blessed Mother.

    I have been going to daily Mass at St. Agnes for over 15 years and had the great blessing of hearing Msgr. Schuler every morning for many years. He touched my life deeply and the lives of so many others. Just look at all the vocations he helped nurture – he truly bore fruit a hundred fold. I will miss him for now, but look forward to Msgr. Schuler greeting me with his warm smile when I enter into eternal reward. May his soul rest in peace!

  23. Tim Ferguson says:

    Though it’s too early, perhaps, to bring up the topic, I would be delighted to throw my canon law studies into any effort made to examine the possibility of Monsignor’s canonization.

  24. It was during a visit to St. Agnes Chuch in October weekend in 1993 that my life was changed forever. A weekend of Msgr. Schuler’s wonderful hospitality was crowned by holy Mass with Mozart’s MISSA LONGA as the musical offering. The seeds for The New York Catholic Chorale were sown that day. By the grace of God, we are now in our tenth year and still growing. Suffice it to say that there would be no NYCC without the inspiration, guidance and prayers of our beloved Msgr. Schuler.

    He was of great courage and example in a bleak time. He was a good friend. May he rest in peace.

  25. Fr. J says:

    May he rest in peace. I stayed at the rectory several times and was always welcomed. It was my privilege to concelebrate with Msgr. when I was there. I also ran into Fr. Z once. He will be glad to know that afterwards I studied Latin for 3 semesters. Msgr. made St. Agnes a special place.

  26. Dr Alcuin Reid says:

    It was a great priviledge to have met Msgr Schuler albeit only once. He kept the flame of the Sacred Liturgy alight in a very dark age indeed and passed that light on to many others to whom he was a father and a guide. May Almighty God reward this disciple of the true liturgical movement – this pioneer of the new liturgical movement! RIP.

  27. Alcuin: Blessings and greetings. Your words ring clear and true.

  28. MikeJH says:

    I’ve been a parishoner at St. Agnes for about 10 years and was specially blessed when I could attend Msgr. Schuler’s Masses. Here is a link to the local paper writeup on him and his love of music:

    I was thinking this afternoon what a grand welcome Msgr. would have from our patroness Saint. We will be ever greatful for his efforts to provide us with such a Holy Church. May he RIP.

  29. Stephen M. Collins says:

    Dear Fr. Z. This may be a bit long, but writing it will serve to burn it even deeper into my memory.

    I first met Msgr. Schuler when he visited us at Our Lady of Walsingham (Houston) in the mid 1980s. We had a special Saturday Mass which he concelebrated – Anglican Use, Rite I. Many of our parishioners got to know him, especially at a picnic after that Mass. He was a strong supporter of the Pastoral Provision from the beginning.

    Some years later, in the summer of 1990, I was installing a large pipe organ in Eden Prairie, on the other side of Minneapolis. I managed to get over to St. Agnes every Sunday for the 6 weeks I was there, and twice on the Feast of the Assumption – his 45th Anniversary of Ordination. I went to the evening Mass, complete with procession, K of C, and all the frills that evening. I was in the choir loft, and sang along on what I could. It was very difficult as I was on the verge of tears through much of the Mass! The windows were open, the fans were on, and there was all the Latin! It was like I was back home in grade shcool before Vat. II!

    The last Sunday I was in town, I was finally able to take him up on his invitation for me to stay for lunch in the rectory, and go to Solemn Vespers and Benediction. (This was where I met you – I believe in you diaconate year. There was also a visiting priest from Rome who had given the sermon that morning, but I don’t remember his name.) Some time after Lunch was over, it was time for Vespers. I had not realized that my invitation was to vest and chant in the Sanctuary! I thought I had visited heaven that day!

    Memories: some of us try to keep them; others make them happen for others! Thank you for everything, Msgr. Schuler.

  30. MaryAnne says:

    For those unable to view the local paper, I scanned the articles that appeared in todays Sunday paper.


    Kind regards,

  31. Monsignor influenced the work which I have been able to accomplish at St. John Cantius in Chicago. He was always available to guide and counsel me in the formation of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. His love of the Church and Her Sacred Liturgy will always be an inspiration to me and I am thankful to God that I was able to know this man of God. I think of the headstone on the grave of Monsignor M B Hellriegel of St. Louis and I believe it applies to Monsignor Schuler as well “He loved the Church”
    Let us in our charity remember Monsignor at Holy Mass. Eternal Rest Grant unto him O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him.
    Fr. Frank Phillips, C.R.

  32. Mary Kay says:

    My family has been Parishoners at St. Agnes for 10 years, we were blessed to find
    this Parish after our church of 50 years had closed. One Sunday we took our
    retired and vision impaired Parish priest to St. Agnes for the Sunday Latin High
    mass with the chorale and orchestra. After mass our beloved Father Pingatore
    said “I think I died and went to Heaven.” Monsignor Schuler will be praying for
    all of us and now able to trade some neighborhood stories with his friend Father
    Pingatore. Father Schuler was a true shepherd! God Bless him.

  33. John says:

    My mom and her family were parishioners of St. Agnes for many years when they lived in St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood. She and her siblings attended grade school there, and my dad went to high school there. As such, the church has always had a special place in our family’s heart.

    While I was home from college during summers (in the late 90s), I would often go to the Novus Ordo Latin Mass at St. Agnes, and I also got into a somewhat regular habit of attending a Holy Hour at the parish on Tuesday evenings, at which usually two or three priests were available to hear confessions.

    On one of these evenings, there was no one waiting in line to go to confession to Msgr. Schuler, and the lines for the other two priests were quite long. I had never been to confession to him before, and I wondered if the people in the other lines knew something I didn’t.

    Was Msgr. Schuler harsh on penitents? Did he make you feel really bad about the sins you committed? Did he give heavy penances? These thoughts raced through my head, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take my chances.

    Still, I decided to go to him anyway. When I was done confessing my sins, Msgr. Schuler replied, “Is that it?” “Yes, Father,” I said. “You thank God for this sacrament,” he said, and gave me absolution.

    All of my worries were for nothing. After that confession, I realized that this was a priest who, as someone else has noted, was, ultimately, a pastor of souls.

  34. Andy Milam says:

    Fr. Z et. al.,

    It has taken a couple of days, but I feel as though now I can say something about my friend, Mons. Schuler.

    He interceded for me in a time which was difficult. He invited me to live in his home at St. Agnes and he above all else beleived in my vocation to the priesthood. While that was not to be the case, he taught me to love the Catholic Church. He taught me to understand the history and the importance of right thought when it comes to the Church.

    His most enduring quality was his unwaivering faith to right thinking with regard to the Church and her most visible Sacrament. He taught that it is the Liturgy that sustains the Catholic person. He taught that to waiver in that is to lose the most important sense that a Catholic can have…..A sense of the Sacred.

    While I cannot be in St. Paul for the funeral, I can pray. I can honestly and openly say that I loved Monsignor Schuler and that he taught me to love the Church and to love my fellow man.

    RIP, Monsignor, RIP.

    Andy Milam

  35. Henry Edwards says:

    Father Robert Skeris, past president of the Church Music Association of America which (I believe) Msgr. Schuler founded, has posted a beautiful tribute to him at

  36. Today, January 15th, 2009, I looked up the web site of Father Schuler since I haven`t heard from him for a long time. I am very sorry to see that he passed away two years ago. No one had notified me. Father Schuler was a dear friend of mine. We have worked together to keep up the good music in our churches. From 1958-1969 I was music director of the “St. John`s University Men`s Chorus” in Collegeville, MN, and we both started the annual Intercollegiate Male Choral Festival. Concerts were held at Northrop-Auditorium in Minneapolis and on campuses of different Colleges and Universities (Augsburg College, Bethel College, St. Thomas College, University of Minnesota and St. John`s University). Father Schuler asked me to become Vice President of the CCMA. When the International Catholic Church Music Association Convention was held in Salzburg, Austria, he ask me to accept the presidency of the CCMA, since I was an Austrian. Later we arranged a Church Music Comvention in Pueblo, CO. It was always a great pleasure to work together with this wonderful man and priest. When I left Minnesota in 1969 to move to Colorado, he often invited me as guest conductor to St. Agnes Church in St. Paul to conduct classical Masses with his choir and members of the Minnesota Orchestra. He has visited Vienna and we have spent time together to concentrate on our ideas.
    He was a great personality and the Catholic Church Music has lost a great fighter for the traditional musical classical Masses.
    I will remember him as a great person and friend.
    Prof. Gerhard Track
    Conductor and composer
    Vienna, Austria

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