Jesuit Father Robert H. Schmidt died on Sept. 26, 2017, in Patna, India. He was 79 years old.
He was born July 26, 1938 in East Cleveland, Ohio, in the USA to Albert and Catherine Schmidt. He entered the Jesuits at the Milford Novitiate, Milford, Ohio, in 1956, was ordained March 18, 1969, and professed his final vows on August 15, 1976.
As a formator who was the Director of the Juniorate, the Province Coordinator for Formation [PCF] and the Superior of the Regional Theology Centre [RTC], Fr. Schmidt had a great knack for accepting young Jesuits and making them feel welcome and loved in his presence.
Fr. Schmidt worked hard to prepare his classes and to meticulously correct the assignments of those in formation. His life as a teacher and formator was truly a labor of love. He guided and lead the scholastics through the example of his life. He was a cheerful and inspiring religious who was faithful and committed to the Society of Jesus and the Church. As a PCF and Province Consultor he showed himself to be a capable organizer who planned for the future with vision and openness.
As an enlightened Superior of the Regional Theology Centre and Atmadarshan, a center for Counselling and Spirituality, Fr. Schmidt did an excellent job. He was a man of prayer and practical wisdom and systematic in his thinking and action. Hence, he communicated with conviction, clarity and kindness. He was a community man and team person who created an atmosphere which increased the synergy of the Jesuit staff members so that they implemented their mission with commitment and creativity.
In 2011 Fr. Schmidt was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. However, he continued to perform his duties as a member of the staff of Atmadarshan. His deep faith and prayerful spirit which nourished his apostolic life now helped him accept the cross in sickness and suffering. In March 2016 Fr. Schmidt moved to XTTI because his health had deteriorated further.