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In Memoriam ~ Rev. Sylvester Matthias Kleinschmidt ’43

Rev. Sylvester Matthias Kleinschmidt ’43 

Rev. Sylvester Matthias Kleinschmidt, age 97 of Sauk Centre, passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at Fairway Pines Senior Living in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 23 at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Sauk Centre with Bishop Donald Kettler officiating and Rev. Robert Rolfes concelebrating. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery in Sauk Centre.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday and from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Tuesday at the church. Parish prayers will be held at 5 p.m. Monday evening at the church.

Sylvester Matthias Kleinschmidt was born March 22, 1922 in Lake Henry Township, Stearns County, Minnesota to Joseph, Sr. and Margaret (Laubach) Kleinschmidt. Growing up, he worked on the family farm near Lake Henry. He attended elementary school, grades 1 through 6, at St. Martin and Sts. Peter and Paul in Elrosa and grades 7 and 8 at Lyman Prairie. He continued his education at St. John’s Prep in Collegeville from 1939-1943 and graduated from seminary school at St. John’s University in Collegeville with degrees in Philosophy and Theology. Sylvester was ordained Deacon at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud and on June 3, 1950 and he was ordained Priest at St. Mary’s Cathedral by Bishop Peter Bartholome. Rev. Sylvester Kleinschmidt celebrated his first Mass’ at Our Lady of the Angels in Sauk Centre on June 4, 1950. He did a three-month study at Theological Institute at Casa Sancta Maria in Rome. While in Rome, he met with the Pope twice, said a Mass at the Vatican, and visited the crypt.

Rev. Sylvester has been associated with many churches throughout his pastoral career including St. Olaf in Elbow Lake from 1954-1957, Sacred Heart in Glenwood and St. Bartholomew in Villard from 1957-1971, St. Ann in Brandon from 1971-1977, St. Francis Xavier in Sartell from 1977-1983, St. Henry in Perham from 1983-1987, St. Francis De Sales in Belgrade and Sts. Peter and Paul in Elrosa from 1987-1993.

Many of his accomplishments include being procurator and advocate of the Diocesan Tribunal in 1954, State Chaplin of MN Knights of Columbus from 1973-1975, Ordinary Confessor for Sisters at Sacred Heart in Sauk Rapids, Dean of Alexandria Deanery from 1971-1977, served on Priests Senate and Diocesan Council from 1972-1976, Moderator of Dean Council of Catholic Women from 1957-1977, served on the Clerical Aid Board from 1963-1983 and again from 1985-1988, director on Priest Pension Board from 1990-1993, Priest Chaplain for numerous Knights of Columbus Councils and 4th Degree Knights, moderator for Men’s Diocesan Group of Fergus Falls Deanery, and Chaplain for St. Cloud Secra from 1978-1983.

Sylvester enjoyed fishing, golfing, playing cards, and spending time with family and friends. His greatest achievements include his Golden Jubilee on June 3, 2000, 60th Anniversary on June 3, 2010, and 69th Anniversary on June 3, 2019.

Survivors include his twin sister, Cecile Zehrer of Sauk Centre; sisters-in-law, Trix Kleinschmidt of Sauk Centre and Jeanette Kleinschmidt of Sauk Centre; and many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.

Sylvester was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Ollie Kleinschmidt and Joseph Kleinschmidt; sisters, Anna Mae Pfeninger, Millie Vener, and Betty Lou Kleinschmidt; brothers-in-law, Rich Vener, Bob Pfeninger, and Connie Zehrer; niece, Margaret “Peggy” Klick; and nephews, Randy, Ronnie, and Joel Kleinschmidt.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Holy Family School in Sauk Centre and the Our Lady of the Angels Christian Mothers.