Words of Remembrance for Brother Bart Schlachter, FSC

Given by Brother Andrew Bartley, FSC
September 7, 2014
Memorial Liturgy
La Salle College High School Student Chapel, Wyndmoor, PA

The day before he died, Brother Bart passed his assembled confreres as he was carried out the front door of his home for almost twenty years, to an ambulance waiting to take him to the Christian Brothers’ Nursing Home in Lincroft, New Jersey.

As he passed his concerned friends, he smiled, waved, and tried to speak. To me, he seemed triumphantly happy. And why not? Bart was taking another trip, living another adventure—and we’re here this morning to celebrate the fact that in God’s plan, our Brother was going home.

Soon after getting word of Bart’s passing, the community received the following note from Bart’s former teacher, Sister Ita Duffy:
Word of Brother Bart’s leaving us has just arrived. I’ve been saying prayers for the happy repose of his dear soul. Brother Bart and I go back a long time in our association. He was in my fifth grade class when I taught at Penn’s Grove, New Jersey. Since then, we have communicated regularly. I have always found him a good student, eager to learn. At 95, I figure I shall soon see Bart again, and we shall have much to converse about.

To Bart, friendships were enduring. Brother was a man of many gifts and several names. Born Joseph John Fisher (later Schlachter), he spent a number of years as Brother Francis Bartholomew and the rest of his life as Brother Bart (to which his brother Bart occasionally and jokingly voiced his objection).

For more than sixty years at ten assignments, he shared his gifts with students and other friends he met along the way. He was at ease with almost everyone. His years as counselor and Dean of Students enabled him to communicate effectively with youth and peers of any grouping.

In many ways, he worked to form community with those he loved—his family, colleagues, former students, YMCA and AA members, his co-parishioners at Saint Vincent de Paul parish—all were groups who met his needs to share and care.

A month after learning that for the third time in his life, cancer had returned to do battle, members of all these communities visited him to support him and say “Thank You” or “good bye.”

It was so like Bart to say, “Let’s do lunch. Come by around noon, and would you bring lunch.” It was amazing so many met those terms.

Brother Bart was a good listener—especially if the topic interested him. Others felt that he was genuinely interested in their challenges, opinions, and goals.

He was a world traveler who made lifelong friends—and potential hosts—in every part of the planet. Although he appreciated nature and landmarks, the main attraction of his trips was for him—people—with whom he magically communicated and often befriended. He truly enjoyed being a senior citizen. It meant cheaper fares and, in many cultures, greater respect from younger people.

With retirement from the educational apostolate, Bart could invest more time in several of his favorite concerns. The Church and its challenges were given more attention. Suffice it to say that if Bart were Pope, the Church would, indeed, be somewhat different. For example: We know that Pope Bart’s list of those to be canonized would include a host of valiant women like his own mother, nuns who had taught him, Dorothy Day, and others he had admired for their goodness offered to the parts of the world they touched.

Answering a strong call to service, Bart sought out the poor, the homeless, the addicted, the marginalized, and helped them by offering friendship and love. In many instances the offering was efficacious because in his time, the giver had faced similar challenges…and won!!!

Within his religious community, Bart especially enjoyed the give and take of everyday life. Everyone knew that Bart detested sports and would not be surprised to hear him ask a question like, “Was there some kind of big game played yesterday?” The answer was, of course, “Yes, it was the Super Bowl. To which Bart might add, “What sport is that?” Just for shock value, Bart might inform listeners, “Did any of you know I won several letters for sports in high school?”

Later Bart would admit that there were only twelve boys in his class so they all had to play any sport offered. His two claims to fame came in football, his least favored sport, first, when he stumbled and accidentally fell on the loose ball for his only career fumble recovery. The other performance involved a rainy day game when Bart found himself on top of a huge opponent who had given him a rough afternoon. Here, Bart, our distinguished letterman, would smile broadly and say, “I pushed his face right into the mud. What a great day that was!”

To keep Bart moving along, all one would have to say was something like, “Boy, isn’t it surprising that that college was offered forty million to play pro ball next year?” Bart would murmur something like, “Yeah, for playing a game while millions have nothing!” He would then quietly leave the scene.

Although he might have left the scene, Brother Bart remains in our hearts forever. Wasn’t it just like him—the Giver—to donate his body to help others live better lives?

When asked what she would want inscribed on her tombstone, Dorothy Day, who had renounced everything to serve the poor, promptly replied, “Deo Gratias.” On this special day of remembrance, all of us who knew Brother Bart can joyfully echo, “Thanks be to God!

May he rest in peace.

Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of Br. Bart Schlachter, FSC

Born Joseph John Schlachter in Penns Grove, NJ, on May 29, 1931

Entered the Ammendale, MD, Novitiate on June 16, 1952

Received the Religious Habit and Name, Brother Francis Bartholomew, on September 7, 1952

Pronounced Perpetual Vows in Ammendale, MD, on August 29, 1958

Br. Bart died at De La Salle Hall, Lincroft, NJ, on August 17, 2014




Brother Bart donated his body to Humanity Gifts Registry, a non-profit agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, concerned primarily with the receipt and distribution of bodies donated to all medical and dental schools in the state for teaching purposes. Studies for medical education and research will take up to two years or longer to complete. Upon completion of studies, Brother Bart’s remains will be cremated and the ashes will be delivered to the Eatontown Provincial office.  The cremains will then be transported to the Brothers’ cemetery in Ammendale, MD, where they will be buried.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Memorial Liturgy at 10:00 am

La Salle College High School Student Chapel
8605 Cheltenham Avenue
Wyndmoor, PA  19038-7199

Reception to follow


District: 50 masses
La Salle College High School community: 30 masses
Each community in the District: 
1 mass
Brother Bart was transported by ambulance from La Salle High School to De La Salle Hall late Saturday afternoon.  He died peacefully at De La Salle Hall early Sunday morning, less than twelve hours after his arrival.  May he rest in peace.


Elkins Park, PA

Arlington, VA
Bishop Denis J. O’Connell H S

Pittsburgh, PA
Central Catholic H S

vice principal
Canton, OH
Central Catholic H S

vice principal (’66-’75); guidance (’75-’76)
Cumberland, MD
Bishop Walsh H S

guidance and community director
Pittsburgh, PA
South Hills Catholic H S

asst. director (’80-’83); guidance
Philadelphia, PA
De La Salle in Towne

dean of students
Memphis, TN
Christian Brothers College

Jersey City, NJ
Hudson Catholic H S

Wyndmoor, PA
La Salle College H S

Lincroft, NJ
De La Salle Hall