Eric Schoppe, OFM
1916 – 1998
Fr. Eric Schoppe, OFM, was born on Aug. 22, 1916 in East Orange, N.J. He attended three Catholic high schools, before earning a diploma while attending St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y. He was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., in 1939, professing temporary vows one year later. Fr. Eric made his solemn profession in 1943 and was ordained in 1945. While in formation, he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in biology from St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y.
His first assignment was to St. Bonaventure University as an instructor in the natural sciences. He did well, but preferred a more people-oriented ministry, so he served as a parochial assistant at Holy Cross Parish in the Bronx, N.Y., and St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City.
Fr. Eric joined the Province’s Mission Band, serving for seven years before ministering as the chaplain of the V.A. hospital in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., for 13 years. He served at St. Anthony Shrine for 12 years before transferring to the friar’s chapel in the Rappongi district of Tokyo, ministering as a missionary for five years. In 1989, he retired to St. Anthony Residence in Boston and transferred to Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J., in 1993.
He died there on Nov. 6, 1998. Fr. Eric was 82 years old, a professed Franciscan friar for 58 years, and a priest for 53 years.