Prayer-and-Penance-Sanctioned Priest and Death Honors

By Kristine Ward
National Survivor Advocates Coalition
May 11, 2014


 The Vatican’s United Nations Envoy Monsignor Tomasi revealed during the UN hearings earlier this week that in the last 10 years 848 priests were laicized and 2,572 were sanctioned and ordered to live a life of prayer and penance.

Here’s a link to one of the news stories:

Here is the obituary of a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati who died May 3. He was “sanctioned” as a “prayer and penance” priest.

 The Reverend Francis A. “Father Frank” Massarella(May 16, 1915 – May 3, 2014)
Massarella, The Reverend Francis A. “Father Frank” 98 of Dayton, OH passed away at Siena Woods Nursing Home, Dayton, OH on Saturday, May 3, 2014.  Born May 16, 1915 to John and Antonette {Parisi} Massarella.  He is preceded in death by his parents and 4 brothers; Matthew, Clarence, Joseph and Angelo Massarella.  He is survived by his nieces Rosemary Fogarty, Annette Shea and Alice Massarella; and nephew Joseph Massarella.

Father Massarella did his preparatory studies at St. Gregory Seminary and studied theology at Mt. St. Mary Seminary of the West. He was ordained a priest by Archbishop John T. McNicholas at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Norwood, Ohio on June 7, 1941.  He worked with the Glenmary Home Missioners, 1941-1945 before entering the Trappist Monastery at Gethsemane, KY, 1945-1951. On May 25, 1951 he was appointed Assistant Chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati. In June 1952 he was appointed Assistant at Saint Mary Parish, Piqua and its two mission parishes. Later that year he was appointed Assistant at Guardian Angels Parish, Cincinnati and to the faculty of McNicholas High School.  On January 27, 1953 he was appointed Assistant at Saint Patrick Parish, Cincinnati. In 1954 he was appointed Assistant at Saint Mary Parish, Springfield and Chaplain of the Civil Air Patrol.  Father Massarella was then appointed Assistant at Saint Edward Parish, Cincinnati and to the faculty of DePorres High School. In 1956 he was appointed Chaplain to Siena Retirement Home in Dayton. He also served for approximately 40 years at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Tipp City before retirement in 2002.

Reception of the body will take place at 9:00 AM on Friday, May 9, 2014 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 753 S. Hyatt St., Tipp City, OH with Reverend R. Marc Sherlock, Celebrant. Visitation will continue until time of Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM at the church, Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr, Celebrant and Reverend R. Marc Sherlock, Homilist. Rite of committal will follow in St. John’s Cemetery, Tipp City. Contributions may be made in loving memory of Father Frank to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Arrangements have been entrusted to FRINGS AND BAYLIFF FUNERAL HOME 327 W. Main St., Tipp City, OH 45371.

Here is the link to the funeral home’s website:

 Seems no priestly honors in death are part of “prayer and penance” priest sanctions.

So while, on the one hand, the Vatican touts its “numbers” for taking action against priests who abused would you think from this obituary, the picture and the planned services that anything went awry here – let alone abuse?

 A former Vatican diplomat, Father Daniel Pater, also a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, who is neither ill,  infirmed, nor elderly, is also a priest on the “sanctioned” list.

In his description of “prayer and penance” priests, Monsignor Tomasi failed to include that continuing to pay these priests is part of the “prayer and penance” status.

Pater settled out of court with a victim in 1993. It didn’t stop him from climbing the Vatican’s diplomatic ladder. Only the aftermath of the Boston incarnation of the scandal did that. He was removed from ministry in 2006 after news media exposure by the Dallas Morning News. . He was placed on the prayer and penance list this year.

These are items Catholics may wish to keep in mind – or you may wish to remind Catholics about — when diocesan appeals that include priest retirement funds are in full marketing swing. Think a bit of a push back on where the money goes from these appeals is in order?



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