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.
There’s a book of essays (Festschrift) in his honor. Cum Angelis Canere.
And there… To Sing With The Angels