Pastor of St. Steven’s Catholic Community is retiring

Father Leo Pierre Hissey

Father Leo Pierre Hissey

Mary Vitolo

Father Leo Pierre Hissey is retiring in June 2017, after 12 years as Pastor of St. Steven’s Roman Catholic Church. On Sunday, April 30, 2017, approximately 400 members of the St. Steven’s Community attended Father Pierre’s Retirement Celebration. Mr. Dennis McMullen, the main speaker, shared the story from the first time Father arrived on site and expressed Father’s favorable effect on our community. Father Eric Houseknecht, the Assistant Pastor, also spoke. The evening was a wonderful opportunity to individually express appreciation to Father as we enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and cake. We are very grateful for his service to us.

Father Pierre Hissey has been the pastor at St. Steven’s since 2005. Last year, he celebrated his 50th anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood. Father’s 50th anniversary of Priestly Ordination was recognized with an award from Pope Francis which was presented to him at the June 2, 2016, celebration held at Cottonwood. And on Sunday, June 5, after the 11:00 a.m. mass, a reception was held in his honor by the St. Steven’s community.

A native of Boston, Father Pierre entered the Religious Congregation of the Missionary of the Most Holy Trinity. He attended a French parochial school and entered the seminary while in high school at St. Joseph’s College Prep in Alabama outside Ft. Benning, Georgia, in 1953. After four years of college, majoring in Thomistic Philosophy, interrupted by a year of Novitiate in New York, he then entered Theology in Virginia majoring in Dogma, Scripture, Canon Law and Moral Theology. He was ordained on Thursday, June 2, 1966, at Sacred Heart in Winchester. Father Pierre, along with his missionary servant, religious priests and brothers, accepted the call and the gift of the priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Part of his commitment was serving the people of God in any capacity, both then and in the future. On March 1, 1991, Father received his assignment from His Excellency, The Most Reverend Thomas O’Brien. Of the 32 assignments he was given, he learned to become a servant.

His Excellency, The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmstead, appointed Father Pierre to become our second Pastor of St. Steven’s Roman Catholic Church and presided over Father’s installation on Saturday, February 26, 2005.

We congratulate you, Father Pierre, on your well-deserved retirement. We are grateful for your lifetime of caring and for your priestly years of service here at St. Steven’s Catholic community. You have been a blessing to us. Thank You and God Bless You. The Lord bless you and keep you … Numbers 6:24.