Father Benedict Pope [Pittsburgh]
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Father Benedict Pope, OFM Cap., 79, died on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008 at Vincentian Home, Pittsburgh.
Father Ben was born in Cumberland, Md. on Sept. 17, 1929 to Claude and Regina (Loraditch) Pope. His baptismal name was Edward Louis. He was preceded in death by his parents and his stepmother, Gladys Miller Pope.
Father Ben is survived by five brothers and their families, James and Dodie Pope of Gaithersburg, Md., Eugene Pope of Salisbury, Md., Earl and Rosezita Pope of Mt. Savage, Md., Stephen and Donna Pope of Salisbury and David Pope of Grantsville, Md.
After completing elementary school in Grantsville, Father Benedict attended St. Fidelis Seminary High School and College in Herman, Pa. He was accepted into the Capuchin Franciscan Order on July 13, 1948 and professed his first vows as a friar on July 14, 1949 in Cumberland. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 5, 1954 at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. His solemn high first Mass was celebrated at St. Anne’s Church in Avilton, Md.
Father Ben’s first assignment was as professor at St. Joseph Military Academy (Thomas More Prep – Marian High School) in Hays, Kan. While teaching at the Academy he attained a Masters of Science degree from Fort Hays State University in 1959. Father was at the Academy until 1968, at which time he was assigned to teaching responsibilities in the Capuchin Mission of Papua New Guinea at St. Fidelis College in Madang.
He returned to the United States in 1975 as associate pastor at St. Joseph Church in Hays. In 1977 he was named pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Antonino, Kan.
In 1983 Father Ben was appointed chaplain of The Alverne and associate pastor of St. Patrick Church, both in St. Louis, Mo. He returned to Hays and Thomas More Prep in 1985 and assisted with the residency program of the school until 1988. He was then named the local director of the Seraphic Mass Association and part-time chaplain at the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C. In 1991 he transferred to Pittsburgh and ministered as a chaplain at the local VA hospital until 1992.
Father Ben as been in declining health since 1982 and in 2003 became a resident of Vincentian Home in Allison Park, Pa.
The public is invited for viewing at St. Augustine Friary, 221 36th St., Pittsburgh, PA 15201, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008 from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. A wake service will be conducted at 7:30 p.m. in the friary chapel.
On Friday evening family and friends may gather at SS. Peter & Paul Church, 125 Fayette St., Cumberland, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at SS. Peter and Paul Church on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Interment will follow in the friars’ plot of the parish cemetery.
Donations in honor of Father Benedict Pope may be made to the Capuchin Development Center, 220 37th St., Pittsburgh, PA 15201.
Source: Father Benedict Pope [Pittsburgh], Cumberland Times-News, Cumberland, Maryland, 10 December 2008, Viewed Online 10 December 2008 at <http://www.times-news.com/thursday/local_story_345220925.html>.