Father Paul W. Schott, SJ, died on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, 2020, in Grand Coteau, La. He was 97 years old, a Jesuit for 70 years and a priest for 60 years.
He will be remembered in a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 in the Domestic Chapel of St. Charles College, in Grand Coteau. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, only the Jesuit Community will attend. The graveside service and burial will be in the St. Charles College cemetery at 11:40 a.m. and will be open to family members.
Paul Schott was born in New Orleans on Nov. 1, 1923, to Bernard and Nina Oelkers Schott. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Rosemary Stevens, and his brothers Arthur, Bernard, Stephen, and Patrick Schott. He is survived by his brother Matthew and by many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.
Following graduation from Jesuit High School (New Orleans) in 1940, Fr. Schott graduated from Loyola University New Orleans in 1943, with a B.S. in economics. He then joined the U.S. Navy, where he served in the European and Pacific theaters during World War II. He related that he was supposed to be involved in D-Day, but a mishap with his ship kept him from that ordeal. He retired from the Navy as a Lieutenant (junior grade) and returned to New Orleans, where he went to work at his family’s meat-packing business.
He entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) at the novitiate in Grand Coteau on Sept. 7, 1950 and pronounced first vows on Sept. 8, 1952. He was ordained a priest at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., on June 15, 1960.
In 1961, he returned to St. John’s High School in Shreveport, La., where he had taught in 1956-57, as minister of the community and theology teacher. He remained for one year.
From 1963-65, Fr. Schott gave retreats at Montserrat Retreat House in Lake Dallas, Texas. In 1965, he was appointed rector and president of Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas, which had recently moved to a brand-new facility. His eight years as president were marked by innovative and successful fundraising.
Father Schott returned to Grand Coteau in 1973 to lead retreats again, and in 1974 was appointed president of his alma mater, Jesuit High School in New Orleans. Here he was called upon to replicate what he had done so successfully in Dallas—that is, institute a new source of funds to complement the endowment. He served as president for five years.
In 1979, he was sent to Manresa House of Retreats in Convent, La. to be superior and director. In 1981, he added socius duties to his plate. (A socius is the “companion” or executive assistant to the provincial.) In 1983, he moved to New Orleans to be the full-time socius and pastoral assistant for the new provincial, Fr. Edmundo Rodriguez.
In 1989, he returned to Dallas and took up the duties of pastor at St. Rita’s Parish, right next to Jesuit College Prep. In 1996, he reported to Immaculate Conception Church in New Orleans, where he was associate pastor for one year. The next year, he crossed town to Holy Name of Jesus Church on the Loyola campus and was associate pastor there for five years. In 2002 he was sent back to St. Rita in Dallas to be the last Jesuit pastor before the parish was turned over to the Diocese of Dallas in 2003.
From 2003 until 2012, Fr. Schott served at Holy Name Church in New Orleans, first as administrator for one year and then as associate pastor. He retired in 2012.
Although his early ministry had been in schools, Fr. Schott came to love parochial work deeply, and his parishioners reciprocated with their attachment and appreciation for him. As the years went by, his eyesight and hearing faded, but his mind was sharp to the end, and he always enjoyed hearing the news from Dallas and New Orleans. He received many visits at Grand Coteau from those he had ministered to in those locations.
Father Schott earned his philosophy degree at Spring Hill College and a licentiate in Sacred Theology from St. Mary’s College in St. Marys, Kansas.
We remember with gratitude all that God has done through Fr. Schott’s life of service to God and God’s people.
Gifts in memory of Fr. Schott can be made on this website.