Date of death: 11/20/2012

Saint Meinrad Class: O 1952

Father Jeldo J. Schiavone, 88, died Nov. 20 in a nursing home in Dunedin, Fla. Jeldo James Schiavone was born on Sept. 9, 1924, in Framington, Mass. The son of Louis and Jane (Iarriro) Schiavone, he was one of four children. He attended public elementary schools and the Stigmatine Fathers Juniorate in Waltham, Mass. He went on to Elm Bank Seminary, Wellesley, Mass, and Saint Meinrad Seminary, St. Meinrad, Ind. He was ordained by Bishop John Wright of the Diocese of Worcester, Mass., on June 12, 1952, at Notre Dame Church in Southbridge, Mass. Father Schiavone’s first assignment was as assistant pastor of St. Joseph Church, Logansport, on July 4, 1952. His next appointment was associate pastor of St. Joan of Arc Church, Kokomo, on June 6, 1956. On May 28, 1957, he received his first pastorate at Sorrowful Mother Church in Wheatfield and its mission, St. Cecilia, DeMotte. Father Schiavone was named pastor of St. Joseph Church, Covington, on June 3, 1958. In 1959, he was appointed chaplain of Villa Maria in Kokomo, and in 1960, chaplain and religious teacher at St. Joseph Academy, Tipton. In 1963, he was named associate pastor of St. Ambrose, Anderson, and in 1964, associate pastor of St. Charles, Peru. He became chaplain of St. John’s Hospital, Anderson, in 1966. In 1967, Father Schiavone was released to serve with the Chaplain Corps of the United States Army. He served in Korea and Vietnam. He was awarded the Soldier’s Medal in February 1972 for heroism not involving actual conflict with an armed enemy.” A memo from the Department of the Army stated that “Captain (Chaplain) Schiavone distinguished himself on 5 September 1971 in the Republic of Vietnam. When a soldier on guard duty began to fire his weapon indiscriminately, gravely endangering the lives of persons in the immediate vicinity, Captain Schiavone was summoned to the scene in an attempt to calm the individual, who had resisted military police efforts to do so. Captain Schiavone approached the soldier and through his calm demeanor and reassuring words and actions eventually persuaded him to relinquish his weapon, thereby removing the threat to the lives of all persons concerned. Captain (Chaplain) Schiavone’s heroic actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.” He was released from the military in 1975. Father Schiavone’s heroic actions were recounted in “Blessings from the Battlefield,” a book written by the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services that documented heroic and spiritual experiences of Catholic military chaplains. Father Schiavone said that while in Vietnam, he found himself “more like a Christ figure bringing comfort to men in the battalion. My duties entailed quite a lot of counseling and (I) even became a tour guide to Binba Island near Cam-Ranh Bay. … The chaplaincy has always been a challenge to me. As they told us in chaplain school, G╟ Be ready to be all things to all men.’ To some at Cam Ranh, I was the G╟ Padre,’ to others I was the tour guide. To Gonzalez (the soldier who had been firing his weapon at others), I was the mediator. And saving Gonzalez’s life was a greater reward than any medal the Army could provide.” In 1976, Father Schiavone was released to pursue a master’s degree in social work. In 1985, he was released to serve in the Diocese of Tucson, Ariz. He retired in 1987. A funeral Mass for Father Schiavone was to be celebrated on Nov. 27 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Dunedin. May he rest in peace.From the Catholic Moment newspaper.”