As parents, why is a Catholic education important to you?
Bob: It’s that prayer is involved in their daily life. At Queen of All Saints, they pray a minimum of three times a day and go to Mass at least twice a week.
Mary: Prayer is woven in all their subjects, even physical education. They’ll be outside at recess, an ambulance will go by and they’ll say a Hail Mary. We wanted this as their foundation to take them through life. We both went to Catholic grade schools and Catholic high schools.
What is it about Queen of All Saints that stands out?
Bob: When we drop our kids off in the morning, Msgr. Henry Breier and Father Peter Fonseca are standing outside in the line opening doors and greeting kids. We really have a great faculty and great principal. We don’t give up anything from the academic side to get what we want from the faith side. They have outstanding academics, they offer STEM classes, a makerspace, robotics, and there are a lot of after-school clubs like chess club and robotics club. So we feel our children are getting an outstanding education.
Mary: There’s a sense of community. We feel welcome. The teachers know us, and we know the parents.
With all the activities the children have, how do you maintain a schedule?
Bob: I travel a lot, and it’s particularly hard on my wife.
Mary: I take it one day at a time. You do what you have to to get them to sports, Girl Scouts, choir, chess, robotics, art class and more.
How do you spend time together as a family?
Bob: We try to have a family dinner, even around all the activities. There are a lot of things we love to do together. One we started this last year on Sunday nights is we let the kids pick out a movie and sit around as a family and watch it.
Mary: We have a family game night and let the kids choose what’s for dinner that night. Just spend time together.
Any special ways that you stress the faith and Catholic teaching with the children?
Mary: Absolutely Mass on Sundays, even if we’re out of town we’ll find a church to go to Mass. Prayers before meals, prayers before bedtime.
Bob: When I’m in town I’ll drive the kids to school, and we’ll say a prayer on the way to school. Sometimes it’ll calm the kids down, especially if they’re not getting along (laugh). Mary and I both try to encourage the children any time there’s anything going on in their life, good or bad, to talk to God and rely on their faith.
How have you leaned on and learned from each other?
Bob: I couldn’t do anything without Mary. She does a great job with the children and me, keeps the family going, keeps us all organized and in line. Not only do I love her very much, but I respect what she does here at the house. It’s the most important job in the family. She’s done a wonderful job with the children, and I really admire her for that.
Mary: Bob is an incredibly patient person, and he has definitely helped me be a better person, more giving. When I was dating Bob, a friend of his and his wife had a baby. He made dinner for them and brought it right over to them. He has taught me how to be generous and take care of others. He’s much more social than I am and he’s got me involved in a lot more things at church and school. We have a great life together and are a good team.
The church and school are a home away from home. It’s a good thing we live close. We’re up there all the time. We were raised in big Catholic families. God was present in every aspect of our lives, and we want the same for our kids. When life gets a little stressful and they face challenges, we want them to turn to God or turn things over to God.
Bob and Mary Schillinger
Parish: Queen of All Saints in Oakville
Occupations: Bob is a sales manager for PPG Industries, Mary is a stay-at-home mom, “the biggest job ever,” according to their youngest son.
Activities: Mostly revolves around Queen of All Saints Parish and School. Bob coaches baseball and is on the school board and activities association board, runs the golf tournament fundraiser and is a hospitality minister at the church. Mary is involved with the Home and School Association, Decorating Committee, a homeroom mother, assists with fundraisers and is an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.
Children: Maggie, 14; Bobby, 12; Cate, 9; and John, 8. All attend Queen of All Saints School, and Maggie will go to Notre Dame High School this fall. The newest addition to the family is a puppy.
Favorite saints: St. John Paul II, St. Teresa of Kolkata and St. Francis of Assisi.