Rev. Msgr. Joseph Schwaegel|
Reverend Monsignor Joseph R. Schwaegel, 79, of Belleville, Ill., born Dec. 11, 1936, in East St. Louis, Ill., was called home to God on Wednesday, July 13, 2016.
Joseph was a graduate of Cathedral High School in Belleville, Ill., and received a master's degree in music from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Ill. He attended Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., and Mundelein Seminary at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Ill.
Father Schwaegel was ordained in May of 1966, and celebrated his first Mass at the Cathedral of St. Peter. His first appointment was as associate pastor at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Trenton, Ill., from 1965 to 1966, and then was named chaplain at the Meredith Home in Belleville from 1966 to 1967. In 1967 he was named chaplain for Notre Dame Academy in Belleville, and served as an associate pastor of St. Peter's Cathedral in Belleville. He served as master of ceremonies/ secretary to Bishop Albert R. Zuroweste, Bishop of Belleville, from 1966 to 1976, and was given the title of "Monsignor". He continued as M.C./ secretary to Bishop John N. Wurm from 1981 to 1984, then to Bishop James P. Keleher from 1984 to 1988. In 1984, he also became the administrator of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Albers, Ill., and St. Mary's Catholic Church in Belleville, Ill.
Beginning in 1977, the Monsignor worked as diocesan assistant chancellor until 1981 when he was named vice-chancellor. He became the administrator of St. Peter's Cathedral in 1984, and in 1984, became rector of the Cathedral parish.
Monsignor Joseph was an affiliate to the Sacred Heart Province of Franciscan Friars, and served as an administrator for the motherhouse of Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Assisted Living, and Our Lady of Life Independent Living, all in St. Louis, Mo. He was very instrumental in bringing the Poor Clare Monastery to Belleville. He served as chaplain for several Catholic Women's groups throughout the area.
Monsignor was preceded in death by his parents, Hugo C. and Edna H., nee Sauthoff, Schwaegel.
Surviving are cousins and many friends.
Memorials may be made the Poor Clare Monastery or to the National Shrine of St. Jude the Claretians. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com
Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 17, 2016, at George Renner and Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, Ill., and from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, July 18, 2016, at St. Peter's Cathedral, Belleville, Ill.
Funeral: A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, July 18, 2016, at St. Peter's Cathedral in Belleville, Ill., with Bishop Stanley G. Schlarman and priests of the Diocese concelebrating. Burial will be at Green Mount Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, Ill.
GEORGE RENNER & SONS FUNERAL HOME, Belleville, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on July 16, 2016