Fr. William Schmidt, SA

Father William Schmidt, SA – Franciscan Friar of the Atonement
(February 25, 1928 – April 21, 2024)

Father William “Bill” Schmidt, SA was born on February 25, 1928 to Reinhold and LaRue (Downes) Schmidt in McKeesport, PA. He was joined in the family by brothers, Robert and Ronald, and sisters, Olive, Rita, and Joan.

Fr. Bill attended elementary and high school in McKeesport and graduated from St. Peter High School. He served in the U.S. Army from April 1946 until August 1949. He was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, the Occupation Medal (Germany), and the Good Conduct Medal. Fr. Bill attended St. John College in Saranac Lake, NY and the Atonement Seminary in Washington, DC. He received his Master’s degree in Education from Catholic University in Washington, DC in 1963.

In September 1951, Fr. Bill joined the Friars of the Atonement. He received the habit in July 1952 and professed first vows in July 1953. Fr. Bill professed final vows in July 1956. He was ordained to the priesthood in June 1959 by Bishop John McNamara at Immaculate Conception Shrine in Washington, DC.

For much of Fr. Bill’s early ministry with the Friars from 1959 – 1970, he worked to teach and form future Friars, serving in seminaries in Montour Falls, Graymoor, Cumberland and Washington, DC. Fr. Bill was co-founder (with the late Fr. Norman Boyd, SA) of Christ the Redeemer Church in Sterling, VA. He served as Pastor and Parochial Vicar there until 1983. In September 1983, Fr. Bill became the first pastor of the newly established St. Andrew the Apostle parish in Apex, NC. He would remain in that ministry until 1999. From 2000 – 2010, Fr. Bill was Parochial Vicar at Christ the Redeemer parish in Sterling, VA. Fr. Bill served in leadership for the Friars as a General Councilor from 1990 – 1995. He retired from full-time ministry in 2010 but continued to work part-time at Christ the Redeemer, Sterling. Fr. Bill came to reside at St. Paul Friary at Graymoor in 2020.

Fr. Bill passed into eternal life on April 21, 2024 at New York-Presbyterian-Hudson Valley Hospital in Cortlandt Manor, NY.