Archbishop Charles A. Schleck, C.S.C., 86, passed away on July 12, 2011, at Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind.
Archbishop Schleck was born to Raymond and Lucile Schleck on July 5, 1925, in Milwaukee, Wisc. After attending St. John’s Grade School in Milwaukee, he entered South Milwaukee High School in 1939. After two years there, he entered Holy Cross Seminary at Notre Dame and graduated in 1943.
On August 15thof that year, he entered St. Joseph Novitiate, Rolling Prairie, Ind., and made his First Vows in August of 1944. After graduating from Notre Dame in 1948, he went to study in Rome at St. Thomas University, also known as the Angelicum.
After receiving his STB in 1950, he was ordained a priest on December 22, 1951, in the Church of St. John Lateran in Rome. While continuing his studies in Rome and serving as Chaplain at Notre Dame International School, he earned his STL in 1952 and his STD (Doctorate) in 1953.
After one year teaching at the University of Notre Dame (1953-54), he began a long career in teaching and formation at Holy Cross College in Washington, D.C. (1954-1961, 1962-68) and Collegio de Santa Croce in Rome (1961-62).
In 1968, when Holy Cross College in Washington, D.C. closed, Archbishop Schleck ventured to California where he served as consultant to the Sisters of Mercy in Burlingame. He served as Apostolic Visitor for the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes from 1969-72 and as Apostolic Visitor for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 1972-73.
In 1974, he began as Attache for the Sacred Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. He was named Under Secretary for that Congregation in December of 1986.
In 1995, he was named Archbishop by Pope John Paul II and designated as Titular Archbishop of Africa. His Ordination to the Episcopacy took place on April 1, 1995, at the Collegio Urbano, Rome, Italy. He served as Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and President of the Pontifical Mission Societies from 1995 until his retirement six years later.
On the occasion of his 50thAnniversary Archbishop wrote: “I wish to express my thanks to God and my mother and father for their having given me the gift of life and of the Catholic Faith. Given my experiences in a multicultural world, especially during these last 30 years of living in Rome and working for the Holy See, I have come to see these two things Life and Faith as the key to my existence. When this is complemented by the gift of the Priesthood and of the Episcopacy, one can only deepen that gratitude and acknowledge that all these things, each in its own precise way, is a gift of the most Loving Father, which I in no way deserved. They are just that Gifts of the mysterious and loving Father who has brought me into being and given me continued existence to this moment.”
In 2001, Archbishop Schleck retired and resided at the Holy Cross Generalate in Rome. In 2007, he moved to Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind.
Archbishop Schleck was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Lucile Schleck, two brothers, Raymond Jr. and Everhart. and two sisters; Mary Ellen Small and Gertrude Dwyer. He is survived by 16 nieces and nephews.
Viewing and a wake service for Archbishop Schleck were held in the Chapel of Moreau Seminary, University of Notre Dame, on Sunday, July 17, 2011. The funeral Mass was celebrated at the Basilica of The Sacred Heart, Notre Dame, on Monday, July 18, 2011.