I’ve been sorting through some of Fr. Schaab’s books that his family left behind in his office, thinking of what to do with different ones – give some to the seminary, where seminarians might find one they want, or donate others to a book fair, and I started setting aside some small prayer books and devotional pamphlets I thought I might place by the confessionals that people might want. Then I realized that many of the books are spiritual books that are not specifically for priests or seminarians but that others would also be interested in, so I had an idea.
I am setting up a bookshelf in the North front entrance to the church, next to St. Anthony’s statue, of spiritual books of Fr. Schaab’s for people to take, and I’m calling it Fr. Schaab’s Shelves. I knew, and have also heard often over the past few months, how important his hearing of people’s confessions were to many. I hope that this will be another way that he is able to help many of us to grow in our faith. He had one of those seals that you can mark one of the first pages in your book with that says “Library of Fr. Thomas J. Schaab” that was used on many of the books so hopefully that will also be a reminder of him for many of us. But most important is
that they help us grow in our faith.
With that in mind I am also going to propose that we might not just take a book for our use, but possibly also place one on the shelves that was helpful to us that we consider might also help someone else. Kind of like the neighborhood library boxes that have books to be taken, or you can leave one behind, but these are meant to be books that will help us in our faith. If all the books are taken and no new ones appear I will be glad that Fr. Schaab’s books have found new homes. But, if it continues to have different books that are left and taken that would also be a good memory of him and a new resource for the community.
Realizing that this is also Pentecost Sunday seemed like a particularly appropriate weekend to put out his books. As Jesus had risen to heaven, but the Holy Spirit came to be with us, and Fr. Schaab has died and we pray gone to heaven, but he has left these as a means for us to be open to the Holy Spirit