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50 Years

Father Les Schmidt
A native of Mercer County, Father Schmidt was ordained on May 28, 1961. In his early years as a priest, Father Schmidt was involved in youth ministry, which included writing a weekly newspaper column and radio show for teens. He has served in outreach ministry as a Glenmary regional worker in Appalachia for the past 45 years, for which he has received numerous awards. Father Schmidt played a significant role in “This Land is Home to Me: A Pastoral Letter on Powerlessness in Appalachia,” written by the bishops of the region in 1975. His most recent efforts have been in criminal justice reform, particularly the privatization of prisons.


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