Francis B. Schulte

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The Most Reverend
Francis B. Schulte,
O.H.S.
Archbishop Emeritus of New Orleans
Archdiocese New Orleans
Appointed December 6, 1988
Installed February 14, 1989
Term ended January 3, 2002
Other posts Grand Prior, Order of the Holy Sepulchre (1992-2002)
Orders
Ordination May 10, 1952
Consecration August 12, 1982
by John Krol
Personal details
Born (1926-12-23)December 23, 1926
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died January 17, 2016(2016-01-17) (aged 89)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Buried Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Nationality American
Denomination Roman Catholic
Parents John Schulte & Katherine Bible
Previous post Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston (1985-1989); Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia & Titular Bishop of Afufenia (1981-1985)
Education Norwood Academy
Alma mater Saint Joseph's Preparatory School; St. Charles Borromeo Seminary; University of Pennsylvania; Harvard Graduate School of Education

Francis Bible Schulte, O.H.S. (December 23, 1926 – January 17, 2016) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston from 1985 to 1989, and Archbishop of New Orleans from 1989 to 2002.[1]

Biography[edit]

Schulte was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the only child of John Schulte, a pharmacist, and his wife, Katherine Bible.[2] His parents had him baptized with both their surnames.[3] As a child, his parents enrolled him in the Norwood Academy for Boys, during which time his father died, when Francis was 11 years old.[2] He went on to study at St. Joseph's Preparatory School in Philadelphia.

Following a call to become a Catholic priest, with his mother's strong support, Schulte enrolled at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook to prepare for the ministry. He later studied at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he obtained a master's degree in political science, and did gradutate studies at Oxford University in England, and at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Schulte was ordained to the priesthood on May 10, 1952, for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and then was named by John F. O'Hara, C.S.C., the Archbishop of Philadelphia, to serve as a faculty member and department head of various Philadelphia-area parochial schools. He was appointed an assistant superintendent of the schools of the archdiocese (1960–70) by O'Hara's successor, John Krol, and later superintendent (1970–80). He was raised to the rank of Papal Chamberlain by Pope Paul VI, and was named pastor of St. Margaret Parish in Narberth in 1980.

Episcopate[edit]

On June 27, 1981, Schulte was appointed an auxiliary bishop of his archdiocese and the Titular Bishop of Afufenia by Pope John Paul II. He was ordained as a bishop on the following August 12 by Krol (by then a cardinal) as his principal consecrator and Bishops John J. Graham and Martin N. Lohmuller serving as co-consecrators. He was named, on June 4, 1985, by that same pope the sixth Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia.

Pope John Paul transferred Schulte to head the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans on December 6, 1988, in which office he was installed on February 14, 1989. Among the many challenges he faced in leading the Catholics of the archdiocese was the shifting of its population, which led to the closing or merging of several parishes. He also brought his long experience as an educator to bear with a major restructuring of the school system of the archdiocese.[3] He served as the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Education, helping to write and research a document on the role local bishops and archbishops should play in Catholic universities within their jurisdictions.[4] In 1992, he created the archdiocese's first formal process for dealing with complaints of sexual abuse by priests or other church employees.[5]

In addition to Schulte's duties in the archdiocese, in 1992 he also took on the leadership of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre for the Southeastern United States, being named the grand prior of that region.[6]

Schulte retired as archbishop on January 3, 2002. He remained in residence in New Orleans, until his diagnosis of prostate cancer shortly after the city had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Upon the recommendation of his doctors, who advised better facilities would be available in his hometown of Philadelphia, he moved there. After spending some time in a nursing home in that city, he died there on January 17, 2016, at the age of 89. His remains are to be interred in the crypt of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, in New Orleans.[2]

References[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia
1981–1985
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Joseph Howard Hodges
Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston
1985–1988
Succeeded by
Bernard William Schmitt
Preceded by
Philip Matthew Hannan
Archbishop of New Orleans
1988–2001
Succeeded by
Alfred Clifton Hughes
Preceded by
Stanley Joseph Ott
Croix de l Ordre du Saint-Sepulcre.svg Grand Prior Southeastern Lieutenancy of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre
1992–2002
Succeeded by
Alfred Clifton Hughes