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The baptismal register of Goshenhoppen for that year records the baptism privately of a child when eleven weeks old by ""Henry Fred- der, the schoolmaster at Conisahoppen." The Jesuit missionaries in America were men of marked abilities and learn- ing, as a class, men oftentimes, who had occupied places of distinction in the sem- inaries or imiversities of the order in the Old World. Uniz'crsi Hc^idclbcrirciisis"'^ (who taught philosophy and polemics at Liege and was regent of the University of Heidel- berg).
The Gertnan Jesuits who labored in the rough mission fields of Pennsylvania during those early days, were men of this kind. A University-Regent Turns Schoolmaster Father Schneider was born in Ger- many in the year 1700. Subsequently, he was sent to Heidelberg to teach in the college estab- lished by the Jesuits in connection with the L'niversity.
He was born in Oppenhcim, Germany, in 1735, served as an officer in the army of the Allies in the Seven Years* War, and came to America during the Revolution- ary War. SITE OF FIRST CATHOLIC PARc X'IIIAL SCHOOL AT ALLKNTOWN, PA. The paro- chial school exists to this dav ; it has sev- eral times changed its location until in April, 1906, it moved into its new quar- ters, a stately edifice with twelve class- rooms, equipped with all modern require- ments and an attendance of 370 scholars.
He landed in Philadelphia, and made his \vay to Goshenhoppen, where he was engaged by Father Ritter, dien the pastor, to take charge oi the school. Frame house of Peter Koehler at Ridge Road aud Libert.v Street (44ii Hl Jge Road). ( Parish Record.) The "Church-Schools" of the Moravians BY J. D., PRINCIPAL OF THE MORAVIAX SEMINARY FOR YOUNG L. AN ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.'' It is only in comparatively recent times that this principle is being acted upon even in the physical world.
Father Schneider took up his residence in a two- storied frame house, the largest probablv in the vicinitv. EARLY GERMAN CATHOLIC PAROCHL\L SCHOOLS 295 CHURCH OF THE MOST BLESSED SACPw AMENT AT BALLV. The rear part of this church is the original chapel where Father Schneider Is burled.
and here, according to traditions, he began his sc Ikx-^I. The present church was built independent of the old chapel.
which sounded in no other language so hearty and devotional to them. Other Gemiaii Jesuits came later on, one of these being the celebrated Father Farmer, who tlid missionary and educational work in Lan- caster from 1752 to 1758 and later on in St. The followim^ historical sketch is lak- «Mi from the unpublished manuscript of The German Catholic Scliools in CM«"nial Times, hv Father l Uirns. For many years, however, the growth of the Church in and around Goshenhoppen was slow, and Father Schneider's school remained small.
Missionaries Sent from the Fatherland In 1 74 1 the German province oi the Society of Jesus sent out two priests to minister to the German Catholics in the colony. who founded the missions of Conewag""^ and Lancaster, and Father Schneider. The French and Indian war came on, and the country became the theatre of the most savage depredations on the part of the Indians. Berks county was laid waste with fire and sword, hundreds of houses being burned, and many of the settlers being slain and scalped or dragged away into captivity to undergo a fate worse than death.
He turned aside from the shining heights of academic fame, to devote himself, as a poor and humble missionary, to ihf ministry of souls It is interesting to contemplate the brilliant young priest, fresh from the honors and experience gained while ful- filling the office of Rector Ma^uificits of Heidelberg L'nlversity.
Tlie editor and his staff of assistants, as well as the management of this magazine, sincerely hope they may have succeeded in ex- punging from the reci^rds oi tradition a charge against the Pennsylvania-Ger- mans which their present state of en- liglitomnent and intelligence refutes more et Tectually than any proof avail- able to the historian. Local traditions indicate that in nearly every instance the organization of a Cath- olic parish was attended, if not preceded, by the organization of a parish school, the priest himself, in some cases, being the first school-teacher. This conclusion is further supported by the fact that the other religious de- nominations in the colony, especially those which were German, almost invariably signalized the beginning of church work in a locality by the establishment of schools." This agrees with Mr.
Fischer's statement in ^'Mci Altc Hccmct": "Es war.
gathering the poor German children of Goshenhoppen and vicinity about him in his little room to teach them, along with the simple cat- echism, the rudiments of a brief pioneer education.
There can be no doubt that he tok up the work of teaching himself soon after his arrival in 1741. writing and spelling were about all that was taught at that early pericnl in the schools that were being started every- where in the colony.
Little if any at- tention was given to what is now callevi arithmetic.