Monsignor Sylvester J. Fuchs, 79, of Westphalia and Lost Prairie Community died Thursday, October 21, 2004 in a Temple nursing center. Funeral services at the Church of the Visitation in Westphalia will be at noon Monday, October 25, 2004 with Bishop Gregory M. Aymond celebrating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery in Westphalia. Visitation will be Sunday from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. followed by a rosary at 6 p.m. at the church. Msgr. Fuchs was the seventh of nine children of Anton and Bertha Engelhart Fuchs and the fifth child to enter the Religious Life. He attended the Westphalia School, with senior year graduation from Rosebud High School as an honor student in May of 1942. The following fall, Msgr. Fuchs entered St. Mary's Seminary in LaPorte for his studies for the Catholic Priesthood. On May 15, 1949, Bishop Louis J. Reicher, ordained him in his home parish, the Church of the Visitation. From June to August of 1949, he assisted in St. Mary's Church in Waco and then reported to St. Josephs Church in Bryan, as Associate Pastor. The ministry in Bryan included St. Mary's Student Chapel at Texas A & M University and the Bryan Air Force Base. He taught in the Parochial School and coached Pee Wee athletics for the school as well as being moderator for the CYO, the Newman Club and Student Council Knights of Columbus at Texas A&M. During his ministry in Bryan, Msgr. Fuchs enrolled at Texas A&M and carried several hours of study for six years. In 1959, Bishop Reicher appointed him to be Pastor of Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Bellville where he remained for 30 years until reaching senior status in 1990 at which time he returned home near Westphalia and Lost Prairie Community. In his initial years at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Msgr. Fuchs purchased a new and much larger site with intent to relocate the parish. In 1961, a new parish center was constructed with the new church and rectory to follow in eight years. A new learning center was added a few years later. A youth group, junior sodality, alter servers, Holy Name Society, Ladies Alter Society, and a Knights of Columbus Council were organized and revitalized. In 1963, Msgr. Fuchs volunteered to be an Army Reserve Chaplain and completed twenty years of military reserve duty and retired with rank of LTC in 1983. Msgr. Fuchs was Dean of the Brenham Deanery for many years, CYO Deanery Moderator, and Moderator for the Deanery Council of Catholic Women, and served on the Diocesan Presbyterial Council. He worked with Family Life Programs, was Chaplain to the Knights of Columbus Council and State Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus of Texas in 1970-71. In 1986, Pope John Paul II name him a Domestic Prelate, a Monsignor. During his thirty years in Bellville, his civic and community involvements included being Chaplain to the Volunteer Fire Department, president and tail twister in the Lions Club, receiving a life membership from the Lions. He worked with the Austin County Unit of the American Cancer Society, the Bellville Community foundation, the Chamber of Commerce, County Extension Service, Garden Clubs, Ministerial Alliance and county Fairs. In 1968 he received the Citizen of the Year Award, the Fire chief's Award in 1983, in 1987 the Good Neighbor Award of Bellville, and in 2004, the Rosebud High School Outstanding Alumnus Award. There were military commendations and Chaplain service medals and recognitions for his extended Chaplain Service beyond his twenty years. There are a number of trophies, plaques and many ribbons for placing in the County Fair parades, pecan shows, garden club shows and extension service competitions. Msgr. Fuchs enjoyed many and sundry hobbies among which were restoring antique cars, stamp collecting, model trains, wine making wood carving, landscaping, horticulture and floriculture, pecan and fruit tree grafting, vegetable gardening, cooking, an candy making. Hi year at Lost Prairie Community was featured in a national magazine, "Birds and Blooms", in 1996. His parish churchyard in Bellville, was awarded state first place in Texas Small Church Gardens competition in 1968. In June of 1998, he completed the Master Gardeners Course from Texas A&M with the Bell County Extension service. In 1998, he memorialized Msgr. J.B. Gleissner and Msgr. Tim Valenta, the first two Chaplains to the Catholic Aggies at Texas A&M by donating the funds for two offices in the new St. Mary's Student center at Texas A&M University. His parents, two sisters; Sr. Liliosa Fuchs and Sr. Tharsilla Fuchs; three brothers, Werner Fuchs, Msgr. Robert Fuchs and Walter Fuchs all preceded him in death. Survivors include sisters, Sr. Audrey Fuchs of Our Lady of the Lake Convent in San Antonio, Zita Kahlig of Westphalia, and Clara Ann Richardson of Cameron and sisters-in-law, Adeline Fuchs of San Angelo and Clara Fuchs of Westphalia and numerous nieces and nephews. Memorials may be made to the Diocese of Austin, Priest Retirement Home, P.O., Box 13327, Austin , TX 78711 or St. Joseph School Trust Fund, 600 East 26th, Bryan, TX 77803. Condolences by email may be sent by visiting www.marek-burns-laywell.com. Marek-Burns-Laywell Funeral Home of Cameron is in charge of arrangements.
A Memorial Service for Monsignor Sylvester Fuchs will be held Sunday, November 21, 2004 at 2:00 p.m. at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Bellville. A reception will be held immediately following the services at Fuchs Hall.
Posted by Joy Neely