Michael Schaefer, OFM
1875 – 1937
Br. Michael Schaefer, OFM, was born in Oedheim, Germany, on Oct. 22, 1875. As a young man, he worked as a chief gardener for the former Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. A professional gardener, he helped lay out the beautiful grounds of Mount St. Sepulchre in Washington, D.C.
In 1904, he entered the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., and professed his temporary the following year. He was solemnly professed in 1908.
Br. Michael landscaped the grounds of St. Bonaventure in Paterson, St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., and St. Bonaventure College in Allegany, N.Y. The beauty of the Allegany Cemetery owes its origins to Br. Michael.
In 1922, he went to Palestine to continue gardening at the Mount of Olives and many other gardens in the Holy Land for 15 years. He was known and loved by thousands there.
He died Aug. 27, 1937 at St. Savior’s Convent in Jerusalem and was buried on Mount Sion. Br. Michael was 61 years old and a professed friar for nearly 32 years.