Father Leo Bernard Schloemer, GHM, the founding pastor of St. Mark Church in Monticello, died March 25 in Cincinnati. He was 94.
Father Schloemer was the oldest of two children of Leo B. and Mary Butler Schloemer. He was a native of Cincinnati and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. His ship, the USS Renshaw, was torpedoed in 1945, killing several of his shipmates.
“It makes you take stock of your life, of what’s important and what you want to do with your life. You consider a lot of things you’ve never really taken the time to before,” he once said.
On Aug. 15, 1952, he made his first oath with the Glenmary Home Missioners order. He was ordained a Glenmary priest on May 20, 1956. He earned a master’s degree in theology from the University of Louvain in Belgium. He was director of education for the Glenmarys from 1979-1983.
Father Schloemer served in Columbia from 1969-1975 and again in 1987-1991. He founded parishes San Simon Apostol and Maria Madre de Dios in the Archdiocese of Bogota. The first Glenmarian priest to study Spanish, he served as the director of vocations for the Bogota archdiocese and helped the bishops create a mission society modeled after Glenmary.
He served in several states including Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. He was the founding pastor of St. Mark Church in Monticello, serving there from 1983 to 1987. According to a 1992 Arkansas Catholic article about the parish, Father Schloemer “and members of the Glenmary Brothers building crew officially broke ground at the site of the present church on June 2, 1985.”
According to Father Schloemer’s obituary, Glenmary president Father Chet Artysiewicz said of Father Schloemer, “He was part of Glenmary’s early growth and some of our boldest initiatives. He had a lifelong passion for learning, especially as it applied to his ministry.”
There are no immediate survivors.
A visitation was held April 3 in Fairfield, Ohio, and a Mass of Christian burial April 4 at St. Matthias Church in Cincinnati. Memorials may be made to Glenmary Home Missioners, P.O. Box 465618, Cincinnati, OH 45246-5618.
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