Tribute to Monsignor Clement Schindler
November 23 was a special day at St Albert's school. It was "Monsignor's Name Day". So the school celebrated Nov. 23rd with songs, skits and dances. It was always glorious...or so we thought. Monsignor seemed to enjoy the day and often rewarded our efforts by giving us the rest of the day off from school.
He was named after St Clement. Pope Clement I is the patron saint of metalworkers and blacksmiths and that is very apropos, since Monsignor was a working mans' working man. He loved to get his hands dirty and do the work that needed to be done. He was happiest working in his garden or fixing the freezer.
His first accomplishment as pastor of the new church in old Fairview was to transform the Cow barn/Whirl-a-Way nightclub into a church and school. The beautiful altar was given to him by Bishop Zuroweste and used again in our gym-church
He also loved to spend time with the school children . One his favorite times was serving snow cones during field day. He also had a presence in the school teaching religion and handing out report cards.
Another proud moment was when he dedicated the new school and gym-church in the late 1950's ,
One of his prized gifts was a tractor that the congregation chipped in to buy. According to church lore, a stranger came to the parish and asked the worker wearing green coveralls where he might find the monsignor. "Well, you're looking at him," was monsignor's reply.
When his busy schedule allowed it , he helped out at the fish fries , set up stands for the picnic , and occasionally had a cup of coffee with the lunch ladies
And finally his dream of a new church ..... Because the church had such a unique structure, it was often called "the round church" around Fairview.
In 1985, he suffered a heart attack while shoveling snow. He died with his boots on. What a fitting tribute for a working man's working man.
The montage below incorporates Monsignor's dream for St Albert the Great.