Schatz relations gather at book signing

Jarrod Schoenecker

Jarrod Schoenecker photo
Ancestors and relations known to the family gathered at the book signing. Pictured from left to right are (front row) Kathryn Malone, Mary Shaughnessy and John Shaughnessy, and (back row) Steve Schatz, Mary Holtz, Ty Schatz, Mary Pat Shaughnessy, and Author Dean Caldwell-Tautges. Steve, Ty, Mary Pat, and John are all great-nieces and nephews of Father Valerian Schatz. Mary Shaughnessy a niece of Father Schatz and the last known living relative at that relationship-level to him.

The “Coveting Lovingkindness” book signing at the Montgomery Public Library on Saturday, April 29 brought together some local historians, people known to the family and some of the remaining family of the subject of the book, Father Valerian Schatz.

Author Dean Caldwell-Tautges spoke to the group and took questions from those in attendance before and after reading one passage from the book. Caldwell-Tautges highlighted that the story was based on facts and filled in with fiction.

During the exchanges, it was easy to see that different family members held different viewpoints of Father Schatz’ death with the information they knew. Several autopsies were performed on Father Schatz to prove that he, a priest in the Catholic Church, had not committed suicide. The family went at lengths to prove that he had been murdered. One of the autopsies performed said Father Schatz couldn’t have done it because of a shoulder wound and bruises that he wouldn’t have been able to inflict on himself.

Given that Father Schatz had laid in a very hot and humid house for two weeks before being discovered by people passing by noticing a smell from the house, it’s unlikely that the claims from that autopsy could be substantiated. There was also one story told that he was found with a dog by his side that he owned. For some, it seemed not plausible that the dog wouldn’t have barked or sought to get out of the house in search of food and water if it existed.

The above are just some of the debated items among family and ... Pick up the May 4 edition of the Montgomery Messenger to keep reading. Subscribe online


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