Rev. Costanzo J. Piselli

WATERVILLE – Rev. Costanzo J. Piselli, 83, passed away at Mount St. Joseph’s in Waterville on April 10, 2021. The Rev. Costanzo Joseph Piselli, known to us as Fr. Chris, was born in Waltham, Mass., on Nov. 28, 1937. His parents were Loreto “Larry” and Mary (Coletti) Piselli. After graduating high school at Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton, Mass. in 1956, he entered St. Charles Seminary (Scalabrinian Father) in Staten Island, N.Y. It is here he earned his graduate degree in Sacred Theology. In 1962 he also received a B.A. from the New York State University in Staten Island, N.Y.

He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Peter L. Gerety at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, on Feb. 12, 1969. He served as assistant at the Cathedral (1969); assistant at St. Pius X Parish in Portland (1970); assistant at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Saco (1971); assistant at St. John Parish in Bangor (1973); assistant at Sacred Heart Parish in Auburn (1974); assistant at Sacred Heart in Yarmouth (1975); associate at St. Joseph in Gardner (1976); associate at St. Mary’s Parish in Bath (1980); temporary administrator at St. Bridget Parish in North Vassalboro (1981); temporary administrator at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Waterville (1982); parochial vicar at St. Mary’s Parish in Brookline, Mass. (1984); temporary administrator as St. Bridget Parish in North Vassalboro, chaplin at Mid-Maine Medical Center in Waterville (1990); pastor at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Brownsville Junction (1991); temporary administrator at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Dover-Foxcroft and Holy Family Mission in Sangerville (1992); pastor of St. Christopher Parish on Peaks Island (1994); pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Belfast (1996); added temporary administrator of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Bucksport and Star of the Sea Parish in Stonington (2002); parochial vicar to parishes which became Corpus Christi Parish (2005). He retired from full time ministry in 2007.

On May 19, 2019 Corpus Christi Parish hosted a Golden Jubilee – 50th Anniversary of Priestly Ordination for Father Chris with a celebratory Mass and reception at Notre Dame. He was so touched by all the people who came to celebrate with him.

The first official duty with the Knights of Columbus was when he was appointed chaplain of the James Daly Council in Brownsville Junction in 1991; followed by chaplain of Immaculate Heart of Mary Council in Fairfield and chaplain of St. Theresa Circle of the Daughters of Isabella (2005); chaplain of the Holy Spirit Council in Waterville (2012). He also served as the “unofficial” chaplain of St. John the Baptist Council in Winslow, as well as the faithful friar of the Waterville Assembly. Father was honored as the Maine State Chaplain of the year in 2013, and in June of 2017 was again honored with a special dinner by the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus.

The last year of Father Chris’s life was difficult because of the COVID quarantine. He could not say Mass and was unable to be out and about with the people whom he loved.

Father Chris was a great Italian cook and host who loved celebrating the good times with his parishioners and was always there to comfort and console them in the bad times. One of his parishioners said, “he represented all that was good about the priesthood.”

Father Chris was diagnosed with cancer in February and accepted it with grace and humor. He said, “it was okay because he was dying to see Jesus.” He also joked about how lucky he was to have a rare form of lymphoma.

On Good Friday he spoke about his death which was but a few days away and wanted his parishioners to know that he “tried his best” that he hoped he “brought a certain humility and humor to the priesthood” and that he would “pray for all of us” and asked that we pray for him.

During the last days of his life when he was on comfort care, one or two parishioners sat by his bedside day and night. Two of the last words which he whispered were, “thank you.”

Father Chris’s favorite saying was, “here I am you lucky people.”

Vespers will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on April 21 at Notre Dame Catholic Church, 116 Silver St., Waterville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 22 at Notre Dame Catholic Church. Due to Covid restrictions attendance to the Mass is being limited. To make a reservation to attend please contact Gallant Funeral Home starting Monday between the hours of 9 to 4 p.m. Burial will be held at a later date at Calvary Cemetery in Waltham, Mass. A Celebration of Life will also be held later this summer. Arrangements are under the direction and care of Gallant Funeral Home, 10 Elm St., Waterville, 207-873-3393. An online guestbook may be signed, condolences and memories shared at http://www.gallantfh.com

In lieu of flowers please make donations to the

Knights of Columbus Council #13486,

c/o Corpus Christi Parish.

Rev. Costanzo J. Piselli

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