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Schaaf, Valentine Theodore


Franciscan minister general, canon lawyer; b. Cincinnati, Ohio, March 18, 1883; d. Rome, Italy, Dec. 1,1946. Theodore, one of 17 children, attended St. Francis Preparatory High School, Cincinnati. As a candidate for priesthood in the Order of Friars Minor of the Province of St. John the Baptist, Cincinnati, he was ordained July 29, 1909. He was lector of languages and mathematics at St. Francis Preparatory High School for nine years. He then studied at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., receiving the J.C.D. degree (1921) and joining the canon law faculty (1923). From 1933 to 1936 he served as dean of that faculty and as definitor for his Franciscan province. In 1939 he became general definitor for Englishspeaking Franciscans at Rome, and a year later was appointed consultor of the Congregation of the Sacraments. He also served as extraordinary professor of canon law at the Atheneum Antonianum, Franciscan international house of studies in Rome. On July 4, 1945, he was designated minister general of the order by Pius XII. He was the first American to occupy the highest Franciscan office.

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