BONNE TERRE - The pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bonne Terre will be retiring June 16 after serving the community for 22 years.
Church members held a retirement luncheon for Father John Schneider on May 19. More than 100 members attended the luncheon.
Rep. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, presented Schneider with a Missouri House of Representatives resolution recognizing “an outstanding Missouri citizen who has wholeheartedly given his life in service to the Lord.” The resolution was signed by Engler and Rep. Linda Black, D-Desloge.
Schneider has been a priest for 45 years. Besides overseeing St. Joseph in Bonne Terre and St. Anne in French Village, he also has been serving as the chaplain at the veterans hospital at Jefferson Barracks for 14 years, and as the chaplain at the Eastern Reception and Diagnostic Correctional Center in Bonne Terre.
Over the years he served as president and treasurer of the Bonne Terre Ministerial Alliance and as a representative to the Alliance of the Salvation Army program in St. Francois County for 12 years.
Schneider plans to stay in the area and rent a house for him and his dog, Stoney. He plans to help out the priests in the area and continue his work with the VA. He will fill in one day a week as chaplain at Mercy Hospital.
The new pastor, Father Bill Baier, will have his first mass on June 30. He has served the Archdiocese of St. Louis for 30 years and has been at St. Ferdinand in Florissant as a senior associate priest since 2004.