Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Father Arnold Schoffelmeer: 1922–2011; pastor, seminary spiritual director
by Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register
(From the April 7, 2011 edition of the Inland Register)
Father Arnold Schoffelmeer, a priest of the Spokane Diocese for 54 years, died March 26 in Spokane. He was 84 years old.
The vigil service was the evening of March 30. The funeral Mass was celebrated the next morning. Both took place at St. Thomas More Church, Spokane, where Father Schoffelmeer served as pastor for nearly 15 years.
Father Schoffelmeer was one of seven men ordained to the priesthood for the Spokane Diocese in 1956.
He came to the Spokane Diocese from Holland, where he was born and began his seminary formation. He came to the United States in 1954 and entered St. Edward Seminary, Kenmore, Wash., where he continued his theological studies.
He first served as an assistant pastor – at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Patrick Parish in Pasco, and St. Joseph in Spokane, before being named pastor of Immaculate Conception, Republic, in 1962.
In 1965 he was named spiritual director of Bishop White Seminary, until he moved to Fort Wright College as chaplain in 1971.
In 1966 he added another ministry to his responsibilities: Diocesan Director of the Cursillo movement.
He served St. Patrick Parish, Spokane, as pastor from September 1973 to late July, 1977, when he became pastor of St. Thomas More Parish, Spokane, where he ministered until his retirement June 15, 1992.
“I very much enjoyed visiting with Father Schoffelmeer and hearing the great stories of his years as a child in Holland and then his time as a priest,” said Bishop Blase Cupich. “He was graced by a very rich and full life, which he so generously shared with people in ministry. May he hear the words of Christ we all long to hear: ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Come, share your master’s joy.’”
“Father Arnold Schoffelmeer lived a long life and was a dedicated priest and pastor in the Diocese of Spokane,” said Bishop William Skylstad, Bishop Emeritus of the Spokane Diocese. “He had great stories to tell about his time as pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Republic. His work as pastor of several parishes was generous, selfless, and dedicated.
“He oversaw the building of St. Thomas More Church. His sense of humor was accompanied by an interest in spirituality and spiritual growth,” said Bishop Skylstad. “In these later years, as his health gradually weakened, he was more than ready to go home to the Lord. May he rest in peace.”
Father Schoffelmeer is survived by two sisters Weis Baltussen and Sister Hildegard Schoffelmeer; a brother, Joop Schoffelmeer; and numerous nieces and nephews in Holland.
Memorials may be made to the Father Schoffelmeer Memorial Fund at St. Thomas More Parish.