Father Robert H. Schmidt, passed away in Patna, India, on September 26, 2017. He was born in East Cleveland, Ohio on July 26, 1938 to the late Albert and Catherine Schmidt (nee Kehoe). He is the loving brother of Paul Schmidt.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 3 PM Saturday, November 4, 2017 at Gesu Catholic Church, 2470 Miramar Blvd., University Heights, Ohio in the chapel. Father Thomas Chillikulam will be officiating.
Fr. Bob entered the SJ August 8th, 1956 which he served over 61 years, he went to India in 1964, he was ordained March 18, 1969 and took Final Vows on August 15, 1976.
Bob was the name chosen by Fr. Robert Henry Schmidt, S.J. because he understood himself primarily as a human person who loved people and also enjoyed being loved by them. In this experience he found God and discovered his identity as a Jesuit Priest.
As a formator who was the Director of the Juniorate, the Province Coordinator for Formation and the Superior of the Regional Theology Centre, Bob had a great knack for accepting young Jesuits and making them feel welcome and loved in his presence. He was a positive person who saw the good in scholastics and encouraged and appreciated them. Bob worked hard to prepare his classes and to meticulously correct the assignments of those in formation. His life as a teacher and formator was truly a labor of love. He guided and led the scholastics through the example of his life. He was a cheerful and inspiring religious who was faithful and committed to the Society of Jesus and the Church. As a PCF and Province Consultor he showed himself to be capable organizer who planned for the future with vision and openness.
In his ministry of renewing people through spiritual direction and counseling, Bob proved to be a keen and compassionate listener healing the people he counselled. His sharp intelligence, personcentredness and empathy empowered religious and priests to come to grips and deal with their inner struggles.
As an enlightened Superior of the Regional Theology Centre and Atmadarshan, a centre for Counselling and Spirituality, Bob did an excellent job. He was a man of prayer and practical wisdom and systematic in his thinking and action. Hence, he communicated with conviction, clarity and kindness. He was a community man and team person who created an atmosphere which increased the synergy of the Jesuit staff members so that they implemented their mission with commitment and creativity.
In 2011, Bob was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. However, he continued to perform his duties as a member of the staff of Atmadarshan. His deep faith and prayerful spirit which nourished his apostolic life now helped him accept the cross in sickness and suffering. In March 2016, Bob moved to XTTI because his health had deteriorated further. This process continued and on the September 26th, 2017, Bob took seriously ill and expired at 12 noon despite the efforts of the doctor.
“For freedom, Christ has set us free” (Gal 5:1). Bob, our brother and friend in the depths of our grief we rejoice with you as you enjoy total freedom with God in eternity beyond history.
– Fr. Dionysius Rasquinha, S.J