“Our strength to love and to serve others comes from the Holy Eucharist, the Bread of Life “
~ Venerable Aloysius Schwartz
Fr. Al and the Eucharist
Sr. Michaela Kim, SM
1st Superior General, Sisters of Mary
In 1989, he was diagnosed to have a terminal illness. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He accepted with it with joy, serenity and courage, and regarded it as a gift from God. In spite of his deteriorating health, he still expanded his Boystown and Girlstown program in Mexico, which he called his “unfinished symphony”.
With humility, courage, and unwavering faith, he suffered and accepted a lot of humiliations, criticisms, pains, incredible trials, and difficulties. He did his best to relieve the suffering of the poor. His illness made him immobile, still even on a wheelchair, he continued to fulfill his duties with joy. He spent hours before the Blessed Sacrament, praying the rosary, hearing confessions, and preaching in words and examples the virtues of truth, justice, chastity, charity and humility, penance and fortitude. His love for God and the poor consumed him. He did not only help the poor but also he lived poorly.
After his death in 1992, Fr. Al’s footsteps could still be traced and seen in his Boystowns and Girlstowns. His legacy is LOVE.
He taught us to love JESUS in the EUCHARIST; he taught us to love Jesus through devotion to the saints and the Blessed Mother; he taught us the love of Jesus in the poorest of the poor; and, above all, he taught us to see and touch the face of God in the poor whom we are serving.
His spirit of poverty has taught us that only in emptying one’s self can one possess God, the most treasured Good, and with God one possesses everything.
Indeed, we will always feel grateful for having once seen, talked to, and listened to Fr. Al, who was a generous instrument of God’s love.