Friday, September 9, 2016


VENERABLE ALOYSIUS SCHWARTZ, the third of eight children, was born in Washington, D.C. on September 18, 1930.. His father, Louis Schwartz, sold furniture door-to-door, and his mother, Cedelia Bourassa, had come to work in Washington, D.C. during the First World War, where she met her future husband. She had been especially attracted to him because he was the only boy who joined her for the Novena of Grace, which she had learnt of after moving to the capital from her native Montana.
His mother died of cancer, when he was 16 years old. He grew up with the idea of becoming a priest. As time passed, this idea become more intense and specific. He would become a secular priest, he would work as a missionary, and his apostolate would be to the poor and the needy.
His Parents
In 1944, he entered St. Charles Seminary in Maryland, finishing his B.A. Degree at Maryknoll College and studing theology at Louvain Catholic University in Belgium. He used to spend his vacation helping at the rag-pickers' camps for the outcasts of the French society. Visiting Banneux, where the Virgin of the Poor appeared, he was  inspired to dedicate his priesthood to the service of the poor in fulfillment of Mary's message.

He was ordained a diocesan priest on June 29, 1957 and was assigned in Busan, South Korea on December 8, 1957. He founded the Religious Congregation of the Sisters of Mary to serve the poorest of the poor on August 15, 1964 and the Brothers of Christ on May 10, 1981. He established Boystowns and Girlstowns to take care, educate, and give a bright future to orphans, the abandoned and children coming from very poor families. He also built hospitals and sanatoriums for very indigent patients; hospices for the homeless, handicapped elderly men, children with special needs and single mothers. He was also involved in pro-life activities.

In 1985, he started new work in the Philippines. In 1989, he was diagnosed with a terminal illness, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which he accepted with joy and serenity as a gift from God. In spite of his deteriorating health, he also established a Boystown and Girlstown in Mexico in 1990.

With humility, courage and unwavering faith, he suffered and accepted humiliations, criticisms, trials, pains, and difficulties, just to be able to serve and love God through the poor. His illness made him immobile but still even in a wheelchair, he continued to fulfill his duties with joy. He spent hours before the Blessed Sacrament, praying the rosary, hearing confessions, and heroically preaching in words and examples, the virtues of truth, justice, chastity, charity and humility. His love for God and the poor consumed him. He not only helped the poor, but he also lived poor.

On March 16, 1992, he died at the Girlstown in Manila and he was buried at the Boystown in Cavite, Philippines. He was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Sisters of Mary and the Brothers of Christ continue to live his charism of serving  the poorest of the poor in Korea, Philippines, Mexico, Guatemala and Brazil.

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