Father Aloysius Schwartz once lived in a rundown shack in South Korea with no running water or electricity. The rats kept him awake at night, yet he was raising millions of dollars through the goodwill of Americans to feed the poor he served. He knew he had to live like those he served did. A new book by Kevin Wells, Priest and Beggar: the Heroic Life of Venerable Aloysius Schwartz (Ignatius Press), tells the remarkable story of this Nobel Peace Prize-nominated priest who lived in the squalors of South Korea, the Philippines and Mexico in efforts to bring Christ to the most desolate of society.
In 1957, at 27 years old, Father Aloysius Schwartz of Washington, D.C., asked to be sent to one of the saddest places in the world: South Korea in the wake of the Korean War. Just a few months into his priesthood, he stepped off the train in Seoul into a dystopian film. Priest and Beggar tells the story of how Fr. Al was moved with pity and love for the squatters who had to dig through landfills just to find scraps of food in order to survive, and how orphans lay on the street with blank stares and concave stomachs. He knew he had to do something.
Surpassing even his most ambitious plans, Father Schwartz had founded and reformed orphanages, hospitals, hospices and schools in South Korea. He also founded the Sisters of Mary, a religious order dedicated to caring for the sick and orphans, loving them like mothers.
Priest and Beggar is authored by Wells, a biographer who tells the story of this priest who, by the time he died of Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1992, had founded Boystowns and Girlstowns across Central and South America, as well as in Tanzania, and counted more than 170,000 children who had been educated in his schools and raised to be saints. Father Schwartz was declared a servant of God by Pope Francis in 2015….
The above comes from a June 10 press release issued by Christian Newswire.