Fr. Carl Schmitz
On April 26, 2004, on the 60th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, the cause for the beatification of murdered Passionist missionary, Fr. Carl Schmitz, CP began in the Philippines.
Fr. Carl grew up on the northwest side of Chicago, USA. He was a deeply committed missionary who served in the United States and in the Passionist missions in China, Japan, and the Philippines. He was living among a group of B’laan tribal people on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines when a local man with suspected paramilitary ties murdered him on the steps of his mission in April 7, 1988.
Carl’s earliest overseas effort was in China, an assignment cut short by the Communist takeover in 1949. When he was expelled, his missionary heart led him to ask to be among the first Passionists to serve in post-war Japan, eventually becoming fluent in Japanese. After serving in Japan for 20 years, Carl, at the age of 60, thought he was too comfortable in Japan and asked to be placed in the rugged mountains of South Cotabato on the island of Mindanao among the ancient B’laan tribal people.
Working with other missionaries, Carl helped to provide food and medicine to thousands of displaced B’laans who were struggling to survive and maintain their culture in the face of their land being stolen by illegal loggers.
He built schools, helped to establish educational programs, and offered spiritual support to the local population. He was known as a man of great kindness and concern, and a courageous defender of the B’laans’ right to their lands and way of life. Above all he believed that life must be shared, both the good and the bad. In fact he gave his life for it