To the Editor:
Monsignor Ken Schaefer, a darling of the Diocese of Belleville and a loving and caring father and shepherd of Our Lady of Mount Camel Catholic Church and the entire people of Herrin, Illinois, died on July 11. July 11 will remain forever embedded in our hearts, a day to remember eternally as a turning point of tears of sorrow and joy when our beloved friend and pastor, Father Ken, crossed over to the promised land of the heavenly Kingdom.
When Father Ken ministered to the people of God in Herrin, he preached the Gospel of love, unity, and joy. He was a man of great kindness and generosity called to serve the poor and vulnerable locally and abroad. The fragrance and beauty of his infectious smile revealed and magnified his heart's content, filled with grace and warmth of service and simplicity that extended to the land of Uganda in Africa.
He was a tall man with a very far-reaching vision that served him well as he used the gifts that God gave him to bring many people and souls to the Church to become adopted children of God. Monsignor Ken was a father, friend, guide, teacher, and counselor to many people.
"May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to our call" (Eph 1: 17-18). Thank you, Father Ken. We love you. Rest in peace.