On Wednesday, July 28, author Kevin Wells spoke at Star of the Sea parish in San Francisco about Father Aloysius Schwartz, who “prayed not to be known.”

As Wells explains it, after a miraculous cure from a brain aneurysm when he was 40, Wells was inspired to write the book The Priests We Need to Save the Church.

After the miracle, Wells noticed that the local church was lukewarm (“Father, why don’t you ask me to strive for virtue?”). “I wanted to write a book pleading to priests what I thirsted for.”

“I began to write this book about the great priest-saints. Phillip Neri, John Bosco, Kolbe, Damien the leper, John Newman, John Paul…. I wrote four or five chapters, sent it away to Catholic publishers and they said we don’t want your book….

“I visited a monsignor who received the gift of bi-location from Padre Pio in 1959 in Italy who was Mother Teresa’s confessor for seven years… He told me to finish the book….
“Something happened on June 21, 2018. The Washington Post broke the story on Theodore McCarrick, and the publishers started to call back…

“A married couple came up to me and said, ‘We know who the priest we need to save the church is; his name is Aloysius Schwartz.

Schwartz was a Maryknoller seminarian who quit the Maryknoll order to live a more austere life and was sent to post-war Korea. “Father Al wanted to suffer as Christ did. He moved into a condemned shack. He wanted to be sanctified….”

Wells’ book on Father Schwartz, Priest and Beggar, was published by Ignatius Press earlier this summer.

To watch the Kevin Wells talk at Star of the Sea, click here.

A 50-second excerpt from the Wells talk:

“On the second week of his time there, he climbed a mountain. That’s where the tubercular lived. There were the insane who lived in cardboard boxes. There were the orphans who were abandoned and dying on the streets. Over a million people died in the Korean War…. Father Al got off the train that day and said, ‘Mary I’ll give you my life. One by one by one I will try to bring these humiliated and rejected and put them on my back and bring them to your Son.’ “