Remembering Fr. Francis Schemel, SJ, Beloved Campus Minister at Georgetown
Rev. Francis Schemel, SJ,was born in Archbald, Pa. on March 7, 1925. He attended both the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Scranton as a Pre-Med student and entered the Society of Jesus at the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pa. in 1946. He received his B.A. from Woodstock College in Maryland, an M.A. in Modern Humanities from Bellarmine College in Plattsburg, NY, and his degree in Sacred Theology also from Woodstock. He was ordained a priest on June 22, 1958.
Fr. Schemel taught German at Loyola Blakefield High School in Baltimore through 1968 and was then assigned as a minister for three years at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He returned to the States in 1971 and served as Minister and Treasurer at New York’s Woodstock College. In 1975, he began serving the Jesuit communities in Washington, D.C., first as Minister of the Leonard Neal House and then also as Minister and Treasurer of the Carroll House. Following a one-year stint as Assistant Treasurer at Georgetown Prep in 1984, Fr. Schemel began what would become a more than 30-year tenure at Georgetown University. He first served as Campus Minister through the mid-nineties, then as Chaplain to the Staff, where he counseled and advised individuals and groups. His motto at Georgetown was, “Everyone grows physically, and that's something we can't control. We grow intellectually through life experience and our jobs. I am here to help people grow spiritually.”
Fr. Schemel passed away on August 4, 2018 at the age of 93, still doing the job he loved, serving the Georgetown community.
June 1, 2020 — “As a black man living in America, the video of George Floyd’s suffocation cues unhealed experiences with police in this country and makes me less optimistic that change between the Black community and the police will soon change."
May 27, 2020 - Now more than ever, we invoke God to wipe away the darkness of anxiety, allowing us to be guided by the light of Christ and to trust in God’s promise of new life. Over the last few months, our Jesuit provinces have been in a place we don’t often find ourselves, a place that saw our schools closed, parishes empty, and the halls of our retreat centers giving new meaning to the word “silent.”
May 12, 2020 - Susan Baber has been named the Associate Provincial Assistant for Secondary Education for the new USA East Jesuit Province. The new province will come into being on July 31, Susan will assume this new role in August.