||Msgr. Delbert Schmelzer
VERONA -- A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated for Msgr. Delbert LeRoy Schmelzer, P.A., V.G., on Friday, July 8, 2016, at 11 a.m. at St. Christopher Parish at St. Andrew Catholic Church, 301 N. Main St., Verona. Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison will be the celebrant and homilist.
The Rite of Committal will took place at St. Philip Cemetery, Highland.
Monsignor Schmelzer died on Saturday, July 2, 2016, at the age of 86, at St. Mary Hospital, Madison. He was born on January 4, 1930, in Avoca, Wis., and is survived by his sisters, Patsy Pustina, LaVon Vorndran, and Suzette Yager. He is predeceased by his parents, Baptista Anna (Dolan) and Roy Schmelzer; and his brothers, Jake Schmelzer, Patrick “Laverne” Schmelzer, and Robert “Bob” Schmelzer.
After attending Drybone Public Elementary School, Highland, and Salvatorian High School Seminary, St. Nazianz, Wis., Monsignor Schmelzer earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology from St. Francis de Sales Seminary in St. Francis, Wis.
He was ordained a priest by Bishop William P. O’Connor of Madison on May 26, 1956, at St. Raphael Cathedral, Madison. He received papal honors through Investiture as a Prelate of Honor (Monsignor) on July 11, 1999, and was elevated to Protonotary Apostolic (Supernumerary) in 2009.
Monsignor Schmelzer served the Diocese of Madison as a parochial vicar at St. Bernard Parish, Madison; St. Luke Parish, Plain; and St. James Parish, Madison. He served as parochial administrator of St. Michael Parish, Dane, and as pastor at Our Lady of Hope Parish, Seymour, with the Mission of St. Peter Parish, Elk Grove; St. John the Baptist Parish, Montello, with the Mission of Good Shepherd Parish, Westfield; St. John Vianney Parish, Janesville; and St. Andrew Parish, Verona, with the mission of St. William Parish, Paoli, from which he retired in 2001 as pastor emeritus.
He served the diocese faithfully as a chaplain at Madison General Hospital; as chaplain of the Janesville Serra Club; and as diocesan chaplain for the Knights of Columbus. He was priest director of the Diocesan Priest Tertiary of St. Francis; associate vocations director for the Lafayette Deanery; dean of West Dane Deanery; and episcopal vicar of the annual celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday. He also served as an ecclesiastical notary for the Diocese of Madison.
He was a member of the following diocesan boards: Building Commission; Arbitration Committee; Presbyteral Council; and the St. Raphael Society Clergy Retirement Fund Board. He also served as the chaplain to the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
Monsignor Schmelzer worked in the Diocese of Madison office of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith (Mission Co-Op Plan) since Bishop O’Donnell asked him to serve the worldwide missions in 1968. In 1981, Monsignor Schmelzer was appointed the director of the office and thus faithfully served the Pontifical Mission Societies for over 40 years until 2014.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the “Diocese of Madison -- Propagation of the Faith.”