Retired Bishop Mark F. Schmitt dies

By | December 14, 2011

Visitation and a Mass of Christian Burial for Bishop Schmitt will be held at St. Peter Cathedral of Marquette, with the details to be announced as soon as arrangements have been made.

Bishop Schmitt was born on Feb 14, 1923, the fifth of eight children, to Charles and Ann (Netzer) Schmitt in Algoma. He attended St. Mary School in Algoma for eight years, the Salvatorian Seminary in St. Nazianz from 1937 to 1943 and completed his preparation for the priesthood at St. John Seminary and University in Collegeville, Minn., from 1943 to 1948.

Bishop Schmitt was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Green Bay on May 22, 1948 by Bishop Stanislaus Bona at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay.  He served as assistant pastor at St. Rose Parish in Clintonville and pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Weyauwega and St Bernard Parish in Green Bay.

He was ordained an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay on June 24, 1970.

In addition to his parish ministry, Bishop Schmitt’s service in the Diocese of Green Bay included the following:  director of Manitowoc Apostolate, diocesan director of Catholic hospitals, chairman of the art and architecture committee of the diocesan liturgical commission, member of the diocesan board of consultors and diocesan director of pastoral planning.

On the national scene, he served on the Committee of Health Affairs of the United States Catholic Conference and was Episcopal Advisor of the Catholic Hospital Association and to the Diocesan Health Coordinators of the country.

Bishop Schmitt was installed as the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Marquette on May 7, 1978.  Highlights of his 14 years of service to the Catholic Church in the Upper Peninsula include the establishment of the Lay Ministries Leadership School; implementation of the Permanent Diaconate Program; the ordination of 28 men to the priesthood; and the provision of faith development programs like RENEW, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the DeSales video discussion program and the Loyola Graduate Extension Program.

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