Legacy of New Ulm priest lives on at Guatemala mission - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Legacy of New Ulm priest lives on at Guatemala mission


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)- A Catholic priest from New Ulm lost his battle with cancer this week, but the legacy he leaves behind for people near and far lives on. 

Father Greg Schaffer led a life that will be remembered best by those who saw him at his best, serving the people of Guatemala and making sure they lived life to the fullest.

Wednesday is a day of mourning and remembrance. Father Schaffer from the Catholic Diocese of New Ulm passes away at the age of 78 after a lengthy battle with cancer. While it is a sad day for many, it was his impact thousands of miles away that people will remember the most.

"For all of us, including myself, it has been a life-changing experience."

Lillyam has led six mission trips for those in the Rochester area to San Lucas Mission in Guatemala, setting up medical and dental facilities for those around Lake Atitlan.

"This is one of the goals of the mission for Father Greg, it has been for so long, to provide spirituality and to provide shelter and physical needs for the Mayan communities from Lake Antitlan."

Father Schaffer spent nearly 50 years at the San Lucas Mission, serving those who needed to be served. Even in his dying days, Lillyam says Father Schaffer made sure that he was still active and able to be productive.

"The people said that he needed to slow down, but he tried until he couldn't do that anymore."

In Lillyam's eyes, it is very apparent that Father Schaffer is leaving behind a lasting legacy.

"He was a person that gives his soul to a community with nothing just to the population could live a better life."

Lillyam still plans on bringing people to the mission to continue Father Schaffer's projects and instill the same values that made him so special to many.

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