Born: 18 December 1853, Rhineland-Palatine, Germany
Entered: 29 July 1874, Sankt Andrä - Austriaco-Hungaricae Province (ASR-HUN)
Final vows: 03 December 1884
Died: 09 December 1926, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia
Transcribed ASR-HUN to HIB : 01 January 1901
◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He remained in Australia when the Mission was handed over by ASR to HIB.
He was Sacristan at Norwood and later transferred to Xavier College Kew. He died happily there 09 December 1926
He was a Carpenter by trade - the boys called him St Joseph.
◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Frederick Schwarz entered the Society 29 July 1874, and arrived in Adelaide with Josef Conrath and Vinzenz Scharmer, 13 December 1883. He went to the parish of Norwood, 1889-1903, as sacristan, gardener, cook and domestic helper. Later he went to Xavier College, Kew, 1903-26, as carpenter, storekeeper and other general duties.
His life was a busy but happy one of constant routine. At Xavier College, it was noted that he only left the school once in 24 years, on the occasion of an accident, and superiors decided he should have a rest.
Each morning, at 5.30 am, he would be in the chapel for meditation and then serve Masses. After breakfast, he went to his workshop where he worked as a cabinet maker. He worked slowly, but well. He hated slip-shod work. Between his workshop and jobs around the school, he spent his day. At 5 pm he locked the chapel and spent more time in prayer. On occasions, he would draw up plans and design work in his room. He was very careful to save the college as much money as possible - his designs involved minimal expense.
Towards the end of his life, because of trouble with feet, he was confined to his room. This gave him more time for prayer. He died a man of great faith.
◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927
Br F Schwartz
He was born in 1853, and entered the Society (Austrian Province) in 1874. He remained in Australia when the Austrians left in 1901. For two years he was sacristan at Norwood, and was then transferred to Kew. There he remained, doing carpentry work, until his death on the 9th December. Owing to the nature of his work, he was known to the boys as “St Joseph”.
◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1926
Brother Friedrich Schwarz SJ
(At XC 1902-26).
“Grave on the stone ye give to me: “Faith once was mine; lo! now I see”
Brother Schwarz was born on the 18th of December 1853. He entered the Austrian Province of the Society of Jesus in 1874. In 1883 he came to the Australian Mission which was then in the care of the Austrian Fathers, and was stationed at Norwood, Adelaide, for nineteen years. In 1902 he came to Xavier College where he prayed and worked and worked and prayed till God called him home to his big reward on 9th of last December. The portion of this long life of 73 years that naturally falls into these pages is the part led at Xavier, thougtı indeed his whole life was all of a piece since those who knew him sum up his younger days thus: “Brother Schwarz in the making!”
Rut and routine is one of the things that most people cannot stand. They must have change - usually given by means of a holiday - or else they'd go mad. Yet here was a man who for four and twenty years led a most routinary yet very active life and was the soul of happiness and contentment in and through it all. Only once can we remember his leaving Xavier and that was when, having slipped and fallen from a ladder, Superiors said he must go with the Community for a little change to the seaside. He did what he was told and was quite as happy as if he was hammering in his carpenter's shop. Two litle things occurred during his one and only seaside visit, and as they illustrate his cliaracter they are worth recording. The first showed his childlike joy in a joke: the second his great and simple faith. The villa or community vacation was at Clifton Springs and the last part of the journey was by coach. The Scholastics gathered round the dear old man on his arrival and asked him how he came, hoping to hear him reply: “I came by ze buzz”. However, contrary to expectations he said: “I came by the Cab!” At that there was a roar of laughter which no man enjoyed more than the old Brother himself, especially when he learned the trap that had been laid for him. “Yea, Father, Thou hast hidden it from the wise ones and revealed it to the little ones!” Into the other scene there came no less a personage than the late Archbishop Carr, God rest his kindly soul. His Grace was staying at the Clifton Springs Hotel and was wont to say Mass each morning in the little chapel of the Villa house. Well, the morning after his arrival Brother Schwarz met his Grace returning to the hotel and right or wrong, he was for going down on his knees on the public road and getting the saintly Archbishop's blessing. The latter however wouldn't have the kneeling part at all. It was a struggle between humilities and authority alone finally won the day. Shortly after he returned and thus ended the only time, as far as we know, that Brother Schwarz ever left Xavier during his 24 years of life there. It was that
“Here he ran his godly race Nor changed, nor wished to change his place”.
Morning by morning would see him up at half past five o'clock and along to the Chapel where he made his meditation and served Masses. After breakfast, down to his little workshop where he would put his hand to accomplish work that any cabinet maker night be proud of. He worked slowly, true, but well. It was a case of “slow to begin, but never ending”. He hated slip-shod jobs, holding that whatever was done for the Master should be done well. Between this little shop - a small Nazareth of its own - and places about the house wanting repairs, he would spend the day. With 5 o'clock gone, he would close down and come up to the Chapel to continue in the presence of the Master and with more concentration the prayers he had been saying off and on during the whole day. Beads, Ways of the Cross, and long prayers - more likely conversations - with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, these filled many an hour of his evenings. On occasions, however, he would give some of this time to planning and designing work in his room. There with his pencil and compasses he would draw things to scale with the accuracy of a draughtsman. It was at moments like these that he used (to use a word often on his lips) to “speculate”. Likewise he “would make a remark” which “remark” would be always very sound though it might and very often did, run into the plural number. The work that he did here was always very practical and the amount of money his thinking out of things saved the College would run into many figures if it were all totted up. One interesting feature about such undertakings was this. He would go to all trouble about exact measurements, prices, tenders and, that done, stop and say: “Now let us go and see the Rector”. The blessing and guidance of obedience meant everything for him and readily and uncomplainingly would he drop any work, no matter how much there was of it, if those in authority did not think well of it.
Thus passed the working day of the week and when Sunday came, well, he too went on Sunday to the “Church”, and there he stopped, morning and evening especially. In the afternoon he would sometimes go out to Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament which night happen to be in a Chapel close handy or he might go to the hospital to visit some sick friend whom he had been too busy to look up during the week. Towards tlae end he began to suffer very much from his feet and he found it difficult to get any rest at night. This only brought forth the smiling remark; “All the inore time for prayers!” Never was complaint heard from his lips though the suffering was very acute. At last he had to keep to his room - a big cross for him who had been so active all his life. However, he began on a more wholesale scale than before, the work of novenas, starting with Our Lady, to whom he had a childlike devotion, and going the round of his special saints in heaven, Finally, Superiors decided that it was wisest for him to go to hospital where every care could be given to him. To this he acquiesced, just as he did to the going to the seaside, saying with a smile as he went off “If I don't come back, I'll meet you in heaven”. Thie saintly old man spoke more truly than he thought. He was never to come back for, despite all the skill and care that was bestowed on him day and night, sickness and old age had their way and his saintly soul passed to his Master very peacefully on December 9th - the day following the feast of Our Lady's Inmaculate Conception,
Thus ended a life of great love and great faith, and straigiitway for him at least, came the “vision splendid”. His heart was always “God's alone”. Hence has he gone straight to where “No need to chase away the hour of sadness, No fear of disappointment or of moan. But only thrills of that ennobling gladness That live in hearts that are but His alone”.