Msgr. Gerard Schons, who served since 1953 as a priest in the diocese of Sacramento in various ministries, died on March 23. He was 92.
Philip Carey, president of the Sacramento Traditional Mass Society, issued the following statement:
“It is no exaggeration to say that if it were not for Monsignor Gerard Schons, St. Stephen the First Martyr parish, a fully traditional Mass parish in Sacramento, administered by priests of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, would not exist.
“A Claretian, (Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary), who spoke his mind and loved the Faith, after the 1988 motu proprio ‘Ecclesia Dei’ which extended the 1984 indult making the Mass more accessible, Monsignor Schons was one of the first and few to apply for and receive a celebret from the newly formed Ecclesia Dei Commission.
“Despite discouragement from the Chancery, Monsignor Schons stepped up and agreed to say the Mass at St. Rose Church where Monsignor Edward Kavanaugh was pastor and who gave permission that the Traditional Mass could be said on a regular basis every Sunday and whenever needed. Monsignor Schons said that first Mass on Mercy Sunday, 1989 and for many years after.
“Although he had been ‘retired’ since 1982, he accomplished far more in those retirement years. He would say Mass, hear confessions, and administer the Sacraments on a regular basis at St. Rose Church. He worked with Bishop Gallegos in the Spanish Centro and worked for the Spanish Catholic community in Sacramento.
Bishop Jaime Soto was the celebrant of a funeral Mass for Msgr. Schons on Monday, April 2 at 10 a.m. in Msgr. Kavanagh Community Center in Sacramento.
Further Comments from St. Rose Parish:
Msgr. Gerard Schons was ordained in Chile in 1947, and served in the South American missions until 1953 when he came to Sacramento. Technically retired in 1982, Msgr. continued his active ministry at St. Rose. Although living in Galt, a suburb of Sacramento, he continued to drive daily to St. Rose, over 20 miles from his residence, to spend an hour daily before the Blessed Sacrament at St. Rose, reading his breviary and praying the Rosary. After a lunch in the rectory kitchen, where he often made soup for the parish priests, he would drive back to Galt.
Msgr. Schons was not afraid to tackle difficult issues in his sermons, and he spoke often on abortion, homosexuality, drugs, contraception, pornography.
Nearly 40 priests, and two bishops, attended Msgr. Schons’ funeral Mass. Most of the laity attending were St. Rose parishioners and parishioners of other parishes where Msgr. Schons was active. The Fraternity of St Peter’s St. Stephen Martyr parishioners did not attend, but will have their own Mass on April 23, the one-month anniversary of Monsignor Schons’ death.
Posted Monday, April 16, 2012 12:04 AM By Clinton May God bless the soul of Msgr. Schons and grant him eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. +JMJ+
Posted Monday, April 16, 2012 12:28 AM By charlio Msgr. Schons’ legacy lives on: St. Rose is one of the Ordinary Rite parishes in Sacramento where you can still hear Msgr. Kavanaugh and Fr. Patrick Lee take every possible opportunity to teach the true Catholic faith, especially regarding the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death and the sanctity of the marriage sacrament. I can’t find that little, humble St. Rose has been featured as a “parish worth driving to” on California Catholic Daily, but it is very worthwhile.
Posted Monday, April 16, 2012 12:35 AM By Central Valley Thanks be to God for priests like Monsignor Schons who followed the desires of the Holy Father and the faithful when priests and bishops refused. Sacramento was blessed. What Monsignor Schons was to Sacrameno what Monsignor Ralph Belluomini + was to Bakersfield. Without holy servants like these great men, where would the traditional Mass be in these areas?
Posted Monday, April 16, 2012 12:52 AM By Dan “Msgr. Schons was not afraid to tackle difficult issues in his sermons, and he spoke often on abortion, homosexuality, drugs, contraception, pornography.” Have yet to meet a priest in the LA Archdiocese who speaks and acts like this holy stalwart of the faith. Where are the men of such conviction here in LA? When you read of such men as Msgr Schons , doesn’t the heart skip a beat and a great cry to God for more of such men to enter and graduate from our seminary with such fire and fervor?
Posted Monday, April 16, 2012 6:15 AM By Catherine Thank you CCD for printing this story. I would also like to thank Philip Carey, president of the Sacramento Traditional Mass Society for issuing the beautiful and oh so true statements about Monsignor Gerard Schons. In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat et cum Lazaro quondam paupere aeternam habeus requiem.
Posted Monday, April 16, 2012 8:26 AM By OneoftheSheep Dear Lord, Bless Msgr. Gerard Schons with your Divine Mercy. May the angels lead him into Paradise. May the martyrs come to comfrort him and take him to the holy city- The new and eternal Jerusalem. May he have eternal rest in the arms of God. Well done, good and faithful servant of the Lord.
Posted Monday, April 16, 2012 8:47 AM By max okay reaidnnag this i’m starting to feel sorry for my earlier commenys about the tridentine mass. it’s obviously very important for some poeople, so if we can get priests trained to celebnater this special mass propertly, all the more power to them. a relative one dragged me to a tridnet mass and i couldn’t get much out of it because everyone wseemed to be doing thier own thing with rosaries, devotionals, etcl and i’m usied to people focusssing on the MASS, but this was mjust my one time experience.
Posted Monday, April 16, 2012 3:15 PM By Vincent God Bless him. I believe he was a friend of Father Lavelle.
Posted Monday, April 16, 2012 7:17 PM By Laurette Elsberry Msgr. Schons was a wonderful priest. He was the type of priest I wish everyone had had the opportunity of knowing.
Posted Monday, April 16, 2012 8:07 PM By Angelo Those of St. Stephen Martyr “did not attend”. I don’t ask as to why not. When the great Champion of the revival of the Tridentine Mass, Cardinal Von Stickler died. His funeral Mass was the Novus Ordo Mass. This was an insult to his legacy. Msgr. Gerard Schons was most probably given a “Mass of the Resurrection” and they probably sang 25 versus of kumbaya. At St Stephens, I’m sure he will be given a Solemn Requiem Mass. Not even in death does one who holds to the Usus Antiquior is respected!