Jun 22, 2021
The only challenge in reading a compelling new biography of Fr. Aloysius Schwartz, a Washington, D.C. native, is that it seems to transcend reality at times and bring the reader into the realm of mythical superheroes.
However, in reading we learn that Aloysius was himself inspired to become a Catholic priest by reading superhero comics and listening to a Catholic nun, his aunt.
In 1957, a priest at 27 years of age, he requested to be sent to South Korea in the wake of the Korean War to dedicate himself to serving the poorest of the poor. Aloysius would visit the United States many times, but he would never return permanently. His bones remain in Cavite, the Philippines, at the house of one of the religious congregations he founded.
Just a few months into his priesthood, Fr. Aloysius stepped off the train in Seoul into a scene that resembled a dystopian film. Squatters with blank stares picked through hills of garbage. Orphaned children lay on the streets like leftover war shrapnel. The scenes of suffering pierced him.