By Markus Ekkerd Locker

Taken from Led by the Spirit, 2001

Fr. Herbert Schneider, SJ, was born on 25 March 1936 to Martin and Franziska Schneider in Fuerth, Germany. After studying in a local school, and later in the United States of America at St. Leonard's Academy in Brookly, NY, he joined the New York Province of the Society of Jesus on 30 July 1957.


Upon arriving in the Philippines in 1962, he studied philosophy at Berchman's College in Novaliches, Quezon City, and in Cebu City. After obtaining a master's degree in 1964, he spent his years as a regent at the Ateneo de Manila High School, where he taught subjects like Literature and Latin. In 1966, Fr. Herb spent a year in Germany becoming a training teacher of German at the Goethe Institute in Blaubeuern and Munich.


In 1967, he began his theological studies at Loyola School of Theology (LST) which he later finished at he Leopold Franzens University in Innsbruck, Austria. He earned a master's degree and a Licentriate in Sacred Theology (both in 1970), and finally a Doctorate in Sacred Theology (1973). His thesis, "Baptismal Text in the New Testament", foreshadowed his professional and personal



After his ordination to the priesthood on 11 June 1970 at Fordham University, NY, by Terrence Cardinal Cook, Fr. Herb returned to the Philippines and applied his knowledge of the New Testament by teaching Scripture at LST at the Ateneo de Manila University. After advancing in rank and tenure for more than two decades, he was finally appointed full professor for the New Testament in 1996. The courses he teaches up to this day range from the Synoptics to Paul and John to the Book of Revelations, covering most of the New Testament. Besides instruction in the Seminary Program, he also offers the following courses: "Bethel Bible," "Preaching from the Scriptures," "Apologetics" and "Pastoral Leadership." In 1989, Fr. Herb was appointed director of the East Asian Pastoral Institute where he established a well-balanced program for pastoral studies and leadership.


It is most noteworthy and exceptional that Fr. Herb made it a personal effort to support and enhance his teaching in the academic through rigorous and focused training in communication and leadership, allowing the Spirit to make him an effective instrument of Christian community building. The training he received at the Covey Leadership Center in Utah, USA (1992 and 1993) enabled Fr. Herb to generate and develop a local Christian adaptation of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  The International Course in the Development of Basic Ecclesial Communities, held in 1998 at the Lumko Institute in South Africa, finally allowed him to lay the foundations for the development of leaders of various charismatic communities in the Philippines and around the world:


Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon (1975); Word of Joy Foundation(1975); Christ's Youth in Action (1980); Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (1980); Couples for Christ (1981); Familia (1993); Institute for Pastoral Development (1982); Lumen Christi (1982); Lingkod ng Panginoon (1984); Tahanan ng Panginoon (1986); Women for Christ (1988) and Cradle of Joy (1998), as well as the international associations Sword of the Spirit and Christ the King.


Indeed, the Vice-Chancellor of LST, Fr. Provincial Romeo J. Intengan, appointed Fr. Herb as dean of LST, a position that Fr. Herb has held since 1995. The construction of a new school building in 1997, and the erection of LST as Ecclesiastical Faculty in 1999 - therefore able to independently grant bachelor, licentiate and doctoral degrees in Sacred Theology - crown his much-appreciated work.


Even as he devoted his service to institutions, communities and people, Fr. Herb remained committed to academic studies, especially the New Testament. He has published various articles, books and manuals and, most recently, contributed the article "Has God Ordained the Subordination of Wives to Husbands?" in The Roles of Women and Men in Scripture. He is now writing a reading-guide for the Letters of John.


At the same time, Fr. Herb explores new information technologies aiding the communication of the Good News. He recently offered interactive online courses on Scripture on the internet, in this manner breaking new ground for the theological education in the Philippines and Asia.


It is but natural that all this love, commitment, and works for the Catholic Church and Christian communities was recognized through several awards, among them the Asian Catholic Publishers Award of Recognition as Outstanding Catholic Author, bestowed through Jaime Cardinal Sin in 1992.




Get a copy of the commemorative photobook presented to Fr. Herb during the Feast of the Covenant of Ligaya ng Panginoon Community.


Fr. Herbert Schneider, SJ


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