Archbishop Gregory Aymond will formally receive the body of former Archbishop Francis Schulte at 3 p.m. on Wednesday at Notre Dame Seminary, followed by a wake that will last until 8 p.m.
The wake continues Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at St. Louis Cathedral, followed by a funeral mass and burial at 2 p.m.
Schulte, who died Jan. 17 in his native Philadelphia at age 89, led the Archdiocese of New Orleans from 1989 to 2001.
Retired Archbishop Alfred Hughes, who took over the post from Schulte, said Schulte’s biggest contribution to the Archdiocese of New Orleans was “to bring an organizational structure to the archdiocese. He developed the cabinet structure. That basic structure I inherited and did very little tweaking of it.”
Schulte, Aymond said, “also helped to stabilize the finances in our archdiocese. He redid the structure of our administrative offices. That was something that was needed, and I thought he did it very well.”
Aymond said Schulte will also be remembered for his commitment to Catholic education, fidelity to church teaching and his emphasis on pastoral care.
Schulte was born Dec. 23, 1926, in Philadelphia. He grew up as an only child. His father, who ran the family pharmacy, died when he was 11. His mother, Katharine Bible Schulte, imbued in him a love for the church.
He was ordained to the priesthood on May 10, 1952, and served from 1960 to 1970 as assistant superintendent of Catholic schools in Philadelphia and then as superintendent from 1970 to 1980.
He was ordained auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia in 1981 and was appointed bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia in 1985. He was named to succeed New Orleans Archbishop Philip Hannan as the 12th archbishop on Dec. 13, 1988.
After retiring, Schulte remained in New Orleans until after Katrina, when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He returned to Philadelphia for successful radiation treatment.
His last visit to New Orleans was for the 2009 ordination of Archbishop Aymond.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Jacob Schoen & Son Funeral Home.
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