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austraLasia #2693
  

The Genius and Ingenuity of Fr. Schwarz

MANILA: 16 August 2010 -- Fr. George Schwarz, a German who was among the early Salesians to work in the Philippines, died on 10 August 2010 in Manila. As soon as the cause of death was ascertained, his obituary letter was ready for print with the high-speed and high-tech machines of Don Bosco Press. But by then all the employees of the press would be out for a two-day team-building workshop. In life, Fr. George believed that "God gives us an ability to create what we need from something that is already here. God will create from what he has given at hand." Thus, even in death Fr. George taught his confreres to "do what we can, with what we have, where we are." Outsourcing the colored pictorial pages and photocopying the text by risograph, his obituary letter was distributed and read during his funeral mass and burial on 14 August.
    Fr. George is known in the Philippines as the Salesian scientist who pioneered in the country the use of indigenous materials to create instruments to demonstrate the laws of physics and other applied sciences. But behind such reputation was a passion for empowering the people he came in contact with. He taught teachers and students alike, especially those from public schools, that they were not helpless no matter how limited the available resources were.
    They say that a good way to judge a man is by what he says. A better way is by what he does. But the best way is by what he gives. An ancient proverb says: "Good people, like clouds, receive only to give away." Fr. George, for as long as he could, did not stop making his God-given gifts his own contribution for the cause of science and technology education in the country.
    It is also said that "when a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package." Fr. George was able to accomplish great things because he didn't care who got the credit. He was willing to sow without trying to reap the benefits for himself. Since his arrival in the Philippines until he stopped giving seminars, he had directly trained close to 40,000 teachers. But he never wanted to "make a big fuss of it." One of the choices he made for his entire life, which was his teacher-training advocacy, was to do something for these people who did not have the resources to return the favor.
    Fr. George was born at the beginning of World War I in 1914, entered the Salesian aspirantate at the age of 16 in Austria, professed in 1932 in Germany, went to Hong Kong as a missionary in 1935, and was ordained a priest at the age of 26 in Shanghai, where he earned his doctorate degree in physics. He went to the Philippines in 1954 after the expulsion of the Salesians from mainland China.
    Fr. George will be remembered by his confreres as one who was able to draw to the maximum any apostolic advantage out of every season and from any situation. He did not allow fund raising activities, construction enterprises, and organizational restructuring to take precedence over meeting the youth and forming educators. He taught his confreres how to link austerity of life with the joy of building communities. Most of all, he modeled for us how we could slip into the chapel even during moments of intense work and spend a mystic moment before Christ and his Mother Mary. The genius of Fr. George, however, lay in his ability to see growing possibilities everywhere, and respond with fertile imagination and mounting enthusiasm.

  _________________ 
 AustraLasia is an email service for the Salesian Family of Asia Pacific.  It also functions as an agency for ANS based in Rome.  For queries please contact admin@bosconet.aust.com . Use Bosconet-wiki to be interactive. RSS feeds - just go to Bosconet, click on austraLasia 2010 in the sidebar. You will see the RSS orange icon in your browser address bar - add it from there.  Or be interactive with the EAO blog Cetera Tolle. Avail yourself of the Salesian Digital Library at http://sdl.sdb.org

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