Memorial Mass held for the late Fr. Charles Schneider, SVD

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A memorial Mass presided over by Bishop Gabriel Palmer-Buckle of Accra Archdiocese was celebrated for the repose of his soul at the Christ the King Parish, Accra, on the 30th of November, 2016. It was attended by Bishops Kumordji and Fianu; and also, by the SVD Provincial, Fr. Angmor, many confreres, other religious and lay faithful. The sermon was delivered by Fr. Tony Dugay, SVD who extolled Fr. Schneider’s great missionary love for Ghana. May he rest in peace.

Brief History
Fr. Charles Schneider, SVD, our beloved and great missionary in the SVD Ghana Province was called to glory in the US Chicago Province of the Divine Word Missionaries on 7th November. He worked in Ghana for 55 years. He was 97 years old.
Fr. Charles Schneider, SVD, was born in Buffalo, New York State on the 8th of June, 1919. He was ordained at Techny, Illinois, USA on 15th August, 1946 and was appointed to the then Gold Coast. He arrived on 16th February, 1948.
In his 55 years of missionary work in Ghana (1948-2003), he served in the following pastoral and academic roles: 
i. Bursar for the then Diocese of Accra, a job which he kept until 1963. He also did pastoral work at the Sacred Heart Parish, Holy Family Church in Mateheko and St. Theresa’s, Kaneshie all in the Archdiocese of Accra. 
ii.  Cathedral Administrator of the Holy Spirit Cathedral in 1964 until August 1965. He was appointed the Regional Superior of the then Ghana-Togo-Benin Province of the Divine Word Missionaries for two terms from 1965-1971.
iii. From 1971-1973, he became the first SVD priest to go to St. Victor’s Major Seminary, Tamale, and later became the Rector of the Seminary. 
iv. In 1974, he was made Parish Priest of Sacred Heart Parish until 1976.
v. From 1978 to 1984, he became the Provincial Bursar. After his term of office, he was assigned to the SVD Novitiate, Nkwatia –Kwahu, where he did formation work until 1988.
vi. In 1988, he was appointed again as the first Mission Procurator and he was resident first at St. Paul’s Technical School and later at Christ the King Parish, Accra. He resigned from active service and was residing at McCarthy Hills until May, 2003 when he bade farewell to Ghana.

Raised by his mother, grandparents and extended family, he entered the Divine Word seminary at age 13. He professed vows in 1941, was ordained to the priesthood in 1946 and assigned to the missions in West Africa in 1948.
In his 55 years of missionary work in Ghana (1948-2003), he served in the following pastoral and administrative roles:

  1. Bursar for the then Diocese of Accra, a job which he kept until 1963. He also did pastoral work at the Sacred Heart Parish, Holy Family Church in Mateheko and St. Theresa’s Parish, Kaneshie—all in the Archdiocese of Accra.
  2. Cathedral Administrator of the Holy Spirit Cathedral of Accra in 1964 until August 1965. He was appointed the Regional Superior of the then Ghana-Togo-Benin Province of the Divine Word Missionaries for two terms from 1965-1971.
  3. From 1971-1973, he became the first SVD priest to work in St. Victor’s Major Seminary, Tamale, and later became its Rector.
  4. In 1974, he was made Parish Priest of Sacred Heart Parish, Derby Avenue, Accra until 1976.
  5. From 1978 to 1984, he became the Provincial Bursar of the Divine Word Missionaries. He became the Assistant Novice Master of the SVDs at Nkwatia-Kwahu from 1984 to 1988, after his term of office.
  6. In 1988, he became the first Mission Procurator. He worked first from St. Paul’s Technical School and later from the Christ the King Parish, Accra. He retired from active service and resided at the SVD McCarthy Hill residence until May, 2003 when he bade farewell to Ghana.

Even in retirement at Techny, IL, Fr. Schneider’s heart remained in Ghana. He welcomed visitors from Ghana and sat with them to discuss latest happenings and news in Ghana. 
Fr. Charles, may your gentle soul rest in perfect peace.