Remembering Fr. Bill: medic, pastor, chaplain, missionary, friend

Remembering Fr. Bill: medic, pastor, chaplain, missionary, friend

On Friday, March 22, Fr. Bill Pitcavage, SCJ, died of natural causes at home; he was 76. He made his first profession in 1969 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1976. Fr. Bill would have celebrated his 50th anniversary of vows this year.

It was during his time as a Navy medic that Fr. Bill began to seriously discern his vocational call. Along with a call to the priesthood and religious life came a desire to be a missionary. He served in Africa for 20 years, first in Lesotho and then for 18 years in South Africa.

Condolences quickly poured in after Fr. Bill’s death was announced. One of the first to respond was Bishop Zolile Mpambani, SCJ, bishop of Kokstad, South Africa. He and Fr. Bill had worked together for many years.

“What a sad occasion!” wrote the bishop. “I want to pass along my sincerest condolences to all the confreres in the US Province. Fr. Bill’s passing will be sorely felt by many here in South Africa, from De Aar to Aliwal as well as Port Elizabeth where he did lots of work with the Renew Program. To me he was a confrere and a personal friend.”
On Facebook, tributes came from former parishioners, friends, priests and other religious.

“This is the loss of a very dear friend and mentor whom I loved dearly,” wrote one person. “I have many precious memories tucked in my heart. I will never forget his kind and generous ways. As a friend and as a priest he was always within arm’s reach with words of wisdom and a helping hand.”

“Fr Bill was a light and inspiration to our family and the Port Elizabeth Catholic community,” wrote another.

Click here to read more about Fr. Bill on the province website.

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