May 15, 2007

Monsignor Richard Schuler

Online Edition – May 2007

Vol. XIII, No. 3

Monsignor Richard Schuler

Church Loses Sacred music Champion

Monsignor Richard Schuler, who courageously preserved and promoted the Church’s heritage of sacred music and authentic liturgical celebration, and was pastor of the Church of Saint Agnes in St. Paul, Minnesota for more than three decades, died peacefully in his sleep on April 20, 2007 at the age of 87, at the North Memorial Residential Hospice in Brooklyn Center.

Monsignor Schuler, who was born December 30, 1920 in Minneapolis, was ordained priest on August 18, 1945, and received a master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music in 1950. In 1954 he spent a year of study of renaissance music manuscripts at the Vatican Library on a Fulbright scholarship, after which he taught music and theology at the College of Saint Thomas for fifteen years. He received a doctorate in musicology from the University of Minnesota in 1963. He was pastor of St. Agnes Church for thirty-two years (1969-2001).

Monsignor Schuler was a founder of the Church Music Association of America (CMAA) in 1964, as an American affiliate of the international papal sacred music federation, the Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae, established by Pope Paul VI on St. Cecelia’s day 1963, and which he served as vice-president for ten years. He also edited Sacred Music, the quarterly publication of CMAA, for more than twenty years. In 1956 he founded the Twin Cities Chorale. The Chorale sang Mozart’s Requiem Mass at their founder’s funeral at St. Agnes Church on April 25.

“He was not only a brilliant musician”, said CMAA’s note on its founder’s death, “he was also pioneer in the use of large-scale polyphony and symphonic sung Masses after the Second Vatican Council. He never wavered in his dedication to what is both beautiful and true”. CMAA web site:

“Monsignor Schuler was a valiant Christian, and we are thankful for his life and for his great contribution to Church music in America”, said Helen Hull Hitchcock, editor of Adoremus Bulletin. “He has been a source of inspiration, encouragement and advice to many, and Adoremus was privileged to have had his counsel when we were working on the Adoremus Hymnal.”

May he rest in peace.


In paradisum deducant te Angeli: in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem.

Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere aeternam habeas requiem.

May the Angels lead you into Paradise;
May the martyrs receive you at your coming and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.

May a choir of angels receive you,
and with Lazarus, who once was poor, may you have eternal rest.



The Editors