Monsignor William Schwartz Dies at Age 80
February 8, 2024

OREGON—The Chancery received word that Rev. Msgr.  William H. Schwartz, P.A., S.T.L., 80, of Williams Bay, Wis., died on Wednesday, Jan.

31, 2024, while under hospice care in Oregon.

Msgr.  was born on May 18, 1943, in Aurora, to Harry and Eula Mable (Satterlee) Schwartz. 

He attended and graduated high school from Marmion Military Academy (1957-1961). He then attended Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa (1961-1965) where he received a BA in History. He then attended the Pontifical North American College, Rome, Italy (1965-1969) where he received a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.). 

Msgr. Schwartz was ordained to the priesthood on Dec.  20, 1968, by the Most Rev. Francis Reh in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. 

His first assignments were as parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish, Elgin (1969-1971) and on the faculty of St. Edward Central Catholic High School, Elgin (1971-1972).

He then was assigned as Director of Religious Education at Newman Central Catholic High School (1972-1976), Sterling, assistant principal at Newman CCHS (1975), and principal at Newman CCHS (1975-1976).

He was assigned as parochial vicar to St. Mary Parish, McHenry (1976-1977), and then was appointed administrator of St. Andrew Parish, Rock Falls (1977-1978). He was also appointed diocesan Associate Scout Chaplain

He then was appointed administrator of Sacred Heart Parish, Sterling, (1978), and then pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Sterling, and DRE at Newman CCHS, Sterling (1978-1983).

He was appointed pastor of St. Mary Parish, DeKalb, (1983-1995). He also served as Associate Vocation Director and Director of the Branches Vocation Discernment Program (1983-1994).

Msgr. Schwartz was appointed Rector of the Cathedral of St. Peter, Rockford (1995-2007). He also served as a member of the diocesan Presbyteral Council (1996-2006), as a part-time teacher at Boylan CCHS, Rockford (1995-2007), as assistant principal and DRE at Boylan CCHS, Rockford (2000-2006), and as a member of the Priests’ Health Committee (2001-2006). He then was assigned as Director of the Permanent Diaconate (2007-2012).

He was named a Prelate of Honor in 1996 and a Protonotary Apostolic Supernumerary — the highest level of “Monsignor” in 2000 by Pope St. John Paul II.

Msgr. Schwartz retired from active ministry on June 29, 2012. He continued to assist on weekends at St. Catherine Parish, Sharon, Wis. (2007-2016). He was a professor at George Williams College of Aurora University, Williams Bay, Wis., teaching history, government, and theology, and serving as Director of Spirituality (2007-2023).

Msgr. Schwartz served many thousands of people during his priestly ministry. Reflecting on his years of priestly service, he identified five keywords that summed up his desire to spread the Gospel in persona Christi — in the person of Christ. Those words — priest, pastor, teacher, uncle, friend — are engraved upon his memorial stone. They are the words by which he wished to
be remembered.

Msgr. Schwartz is preceded in death by his parents Harry and Eula (Satterlee) Schwartz, his brother Robert and sister-in-law Beverly. 

He is survived by five nephews: Mark (Rebecca) of Montgomery, Stephen (Amy) of Aurora, Matthew (Julie) of Rockford, David (Emily) of Rockford and Thomas of South Elgin.  He is also survived by nine great nephews and nieces: Lucy, Neal, Michael, Dominic, Will, Liam, Gabriel, Nora and Samuel.

 His Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Feb. 9 at 11 a.m., at the Cathedral of St. Peter, 1243 N. Church Street, Rockford.  Visitation will take place from 9-11 a.m. at the Cathedral prior to the funeral Mass.  Burial will take place at St. Catherine Cemetery, Sharon, Wis.

Arrangements are being completed by Fitzgerald Funeral Home, Rockford.  In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Serenity Hospice and Home, Oregon, Newman Central Catholic High School, Sterling, and Boylan Central Catholic High School, Rockford.


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