Priest who sacrificed his life at Pearl Harbor will return to Loras

photo contributed

Loras presented a free showing of “For God and Country” on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at Mindframe Theater. This is a short, inspirational documentary on the Rev. Aloysius Schmitt, a 1932 graduate of Loras (then known as Columbia College) who was killed while saving 12 men during the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II. Loras’ main chapel, Christ the King, was built in memorial during 1946 and 1947. Several of his personal belongings recovered from Pearl Harbor and his home in Dubuque have been on display since the chapel opened.

A funeral procession for Father Al begins at 2:30 p.m. on Friday at Loras Parkway and ends at Christ the King Chapel for a prayer service at approximately 3 p.m. From 3 to 8 p.m., a visitation will take place at the chapel with a second prayer service at 6 p.m. All students and staff are encouraged to line the route (on Loras side).

Father Al will then be laid to rest during a Memorial Mass, with full military honors, at 10 a.m. Saturday. His remains, enclosed in a casket, will be interned inside a special resting place in the chapel next to the altar, inscribed with “Pro deo et patria” (For God and country), Loras’ motto. This resting place was created specifically for Father Al.

For those unable to attend, visit for a live broadcast of the mass. A 21-gun salute will take place following Mass.

In lieu of gifts, guests are encouraged to give on behalf of the Schmitt Memorial Fund at Loras College at

Parking will be limited during both events, so guests are encouraged to arrive early. Please do not park in Keane Hall lot on Friday afternoon to allow room for those attending the visitation on Friday. Go to for more information.

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