The Missionaries of the Precious Blood announce the 60th anniversary of the Ordination of Fr. Louis Schmit, C.PP.S.
Fr. Schmit, who grew up near Fort Recovery, Ohio, entered the Congregation in 1950 at Brunnerdale, its former high school seminary near Canton, Ohio. He was ordained at St. Charles Seminary, Carthagena, Ohio, on June 8, 1963.
After his ordination, Fr. Schmit spent a year at St. Anthony Church in Detroit. He was then appointed an instructor at Carroll High School in Dayton, then at Brunnerdale, where he also served as local director, rector and business manager.
In 1970, Fr. Schmit joined the 107th Armored Cav–National Guard, as an army chaplain. He was inspired to join following a conversation with a former Carroll High School student who was serving in Vietnam. While home on leave, the student told Fr. Schmit that the soldiers were in desperate need of Catholic chaplains. That student was later killed in Vietnam, which left a profound mark on Fr. Schmit.
In 1976, Fr. Schmit joined active duty, which eventually took him around the world serving at various American bases. He was promoted to full colonel in 1993. He was named Senior Catholic Chaplain and Episcopal Vicar over all of Europe. He received the Legion of Merit award (twice) from the United States Army. The Archbishop of the Military, on behalf of Pope John Paul II, bestowed him with the medal Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice (for Church and Pope). His military vocation afforded him many other decorations.
In 2001, after he retired as a full colonel from the army, he was named pastor of St. Augustine Church, Minster, Ohio, and St. Joseph Church, Egypt, Ohio.
Fr. Schmit retired to St. Charles in 2006, where he served on the board of directors of St. Charles Senior Living Community since its inception. He has served as the board’s secretary and assistant director. He also was a constant and conscientious volunteer in ministering at local parishes, especially at St. Joseph in Egypt, where he served until 2022.
Fr. Schmit has a military bearing but usually there is a twinkle in his eye. He has a droll way of speaking that brings everyone in on the joke and makes them smile. And if for some reason his speaking voice doesn’t get the message across, his singing voice will. He loves to sing, and to get others to sing along.
He is a man of many talents, including carpentry and all sorts of repairs of objects large and small. He has a giving heart, and made frequent trips to minister at the St. Peter Neurological Center in Burkettsville, Ohio, often bringing his tool kit if anything was in need of repair. Folks there would ask him, “Are you here as a carpenter or a priest?” Often, the answer was, both.