Monsignor Arnold J. Schneider, a cleric for more than 50 years, died Monday in Sisters Hospital after a brief illness. He was 79.
Born in Buffalo, he graduated from Diocesan Preparatory Seminary in Buffalo in 1944 and earned a bachelor's degree from St. Bonaventure University in 1948. He then attended St. John Vianney Seminary in East Aurora and was ordained a priest in 1951 by Bishop John F. O'Hara.
Monsignor Schneider served as a missionary apostolate at St. Mary Church in Cattaraugus and as an assistant at St. James Church in Buffalo in the 1950s. In 1960, he joined the faculty at Bishop Turner High School, then moved on to Diocesan Preparatory Seminary in 1962.
In 1968, he was named pastor of St. Mary Church in Gasport and served there for 10 years. He then served as pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Lancaster, where he spent his longest tenure, from 1978 to 1996. He served for a year as senior parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Church in Bowmansville before retiring in 1997.
He was designated a monsignor when he was named prelate of honor in 1984.
Monsignor Schneider was a resident of Sacred Heart Home, Clarence.
Survivors include a brother, Edwin of Amherst.
Monsignor Schneider will lie in state in St. Mary of the Assumption Church, 1 St. Mary's Hill, Lancaster, from 8 to 10 a.m. Thursday, followed immediately by a Mass of Christian Burial. Bishop Edward M. Grosz will preside.