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.

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.

When I heard that Msgr. Schuler had died, I sent a note to Msgr. Ganswein, the personal secretary to His Holiness, asking him to inform the Pope.  I requested that the Pope 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 funeral. 

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.

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


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Ave and Pater sent. May God give all our Catholic musicians strength and courage in this world, and their eternal reward in the next.

  2. The Church Music Association of America has a writeup on Msgr. Schuler on its website — apparently penned when he was still alive, as evidenced by its closing sentence.

    Thanks for this reminder.

  3. TJM says:

    Msgr. Schuler had to be a man of great courage and fortitude to keep doing what was right during that most tulmultuous time following the Council.
    We should all say a prayer for his soul in gratitude for carrying on the preserve our sacred liturgical heritage. Tom

  4. Mary Ann, Singing Mum says:

    Msgr. Schuler had a profound impact on several fine Church musicians I know. He was also gracious in the time he took to mentor and train musicians. May God reward him. I will certainly pray for him, and ask his intercession for the improvement of sacred music in this country.

  5. John Enright says:

    Father, I think that your roll in this shows greatness! Thank you for taking care of Father, and just thank you in general.

  6. Eugene Lavrenchuk says:

    May Monsignor Schuler rest in peace. I met him on a few occasions at St. Agnes in the early 1990s. He was a formidable priest from the old school.

  7. RIP Monsignor Schuler. I didn’t get to see him too much when I attended St Agnes from 2002-7.

  8. JPSonnen says:

    the boss was always proud of you – you sang vespers so well and he loved it (and i think maybe he even always wished he had had your singing voice)!

    btw, today i thought of you while in athens atop the areopagus and i thanked the lord for your ministry and asked the lord to send many more fr. z and msgr. schuler priests to teach the nations. it was a profound moment at a deeply moving place.

  9. MargaretMN says:

    I never knew or met Msgr. Schuler but I feel like I know him through his works, both in attending orchestral Masses at St. Agnes and by knowing some of the priests whose vocations were arrived at through the St. Agnes in one way or another. I am sure he had a great deal to do with that.

  10. Tim Ferguson says:

    It’s always been a privilege to be able to say “I know Msgr. Schuler.” He inspired and saved many vocations to the priesthood, and certainly saved the sanity of many young men (myself included!) going through the seminary system during the disastrous 70’s 80’s and 90’s.

    I was just recounting today a story about having to run upstairs to fix a leaky toilet between Masses one Sunday. I had run over to put the roast in the oven and was called upstairs. Msgr. Schuler walked by just as I stood there, cassock tucked into my pants and sleeves pushed up, fiddling with the stopper in the tank. He smiled and said, “Ahhh, you’ve just mastered the most important aspect of pastoral theology – plumbing!”

  11. Charlie says:

    And also, in addition to the Birthday of Rome, also the birthday of one Rita Rizzo, gone on to become Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation….as with Monsignor Schuler, the Church owes a great debt to this fantastic and heroic apostle of Modern Communications.

  12. Mike H says:

    I have fond memories of Msgr Schuler who was a favorable influence on me after converting at St. Agnes in 1997. I especially remember him strolling between the rectory and the Church in his cassock, taking time to chat with people. The 5:15 Mass today was in his memory. May he rest in peace.

  13. rljfp says:

    My two cents worth,
    Thank you Father for requesting a prayer for Msgr. Schuler’s soul and not canonizing him as so many priests and religious do. When a priest tells the family and congregation during a funeral that the deceased is walking in Paradise with Jesus I shudder. How do they know this? And if it is so why should they pray for the deceased’s soul? If the family believes the deceased is in heaven then they probably will not have many (if any) Holy Masses said for the loved one’s soul. How does one go about educating priests about this? Thank you again Father.


  14. Kristin says:

    I had the privilege of singing under his direction when he was a guest conductor for our choir at the University of Dallas. Resquiat in pacem.

  15. Fr. Daniel Haugan says:

    May the soul of this good and prolific priest of God rest in the peace of Christ! I had the honor as a kid of serving many a holy Mass for the good Msgr. Schuler. Six years ago I was also blessed to be vested by Msgr. Schuler at my ordination to the priesthood. The Catholic Church was twice blessed by this man. first, throught his promotion and protection of sacred music, and second, through the many vocations he fostered and formed over his three decades as pastor of St. Agnes. R.I.P. Monsignor, may you one day Cum Angelis Cantare.

  16. Ann says:

    MAy he rest in peace. I wish there were more like this man! I so love good Church music. It just pulls my heart toward heaven when the really good old music is used.

    I was at a sung Mass once–whoa was that ever an uplifting and stimulating experience. I just stayed riveted the entire mass and didn’t once find my mind wandering.

  17. irishgirl says:

    May he rest in peace and rise in glory!

  18. Blessed repose and eternal memory for the soul of the servant of God, the priest, Richard!

    Mnohaya Lita!

  19. Torontonensis says:

    Memory eternal! Speaking of his legacy, no doubt the good monsignor would be more than pleased to see today’s appointment of St. Paul native Bishop Robert Carlson as Archbishop of St. Louis!

  20. Ian says:

    Our college choir had the honor of singing in his parish many years ago. His dedication to the liturgy was commendable and a beacon during many years of liturgical darkness.

Comments are closed.