Remembering the Rev. Bernard Schmalzried

WARREN — For anyone who attended or visited St. Mary Church in Warren, the name Bernard Schmalzried will be one they will always remember.

The Rev. Schmalzried, who served as longtime pastor of the church, died Sunday. He was 75.

The Rev. John Zuraw, pastor of St. Rose Church in Girard and chancellor of the Diocese of Youngstown, said he knew Schmalzried, as well as his family, since they were members of St. Rose Church.

He said Schmalzried’s family members were speaking Monday with Blackstone Funeral Home in Girard on arrangements for this week.

Zuraw said he and other priests looked to Schmalzried as an example of how a priest lives, not only his life, but how he serves his church and congregation.

“Father Schmalzried was a man truly dedicated to his ministry and to the people of St. Mary’s Church. He had a great passion for what he did and took his vocation as a priest very seriously. He was a fine person, “ Zuraw said.

Zuraw said Schmalzried served 34 years as pastor of St. Mary.

Lou and Kathy Lepro of Warren, who are members of St. Mary, would often have Schmalzried to their home for dinner.

“He would come to our house and there would also be interesting conversation about family, politics and always something about religion. He was a wonderful man who will be greatly missed by all who knew him,” Kathy Lepro said.

Lou Lepro said Schmalzried was the spiritual advisor for the St. Vincent de Paul Society deanery, which provides meals to those in need at the local dining hall.

“He always guided us through the meetings. He was a great person who was always there for us,” Lou Lepro said.

Schmalzried had been pastor of St. Mary since August 1984, when he succeeded the Rev. Joseph Malik. He also had been director of Warren parochial schools and had served three terms as chairman of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown’s Priests Council.

Schmalzried was the son of Alice and Bernard Schmalzried and attended St. Rose Church. He entered St. Gregory’s Seminary near Cincinnati in September 1962 and was ordained Aug. 2, 1969. He gave his first Mass at St. Rose.

After his ordination, he returned to the seminary to complete his studies.

Schmalzried also served at St. Christine Parish in Youngstown and at Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, where he was a religion instructor, associate principal and later principal.

Schmalzried served as pastor until about nine months ago when his health prevented him from continuing.