Richard J. Shatzel
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Richard J. Shatzel
  • September 28, 1943 - December 20, 2017
  • Webster, New York

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Reverend Father Richard J. Shatzel, a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester for more than 48 years, went home to the Lord on December 20, 2017. He was 74 years old.

Father Shatzel was born in Rochester on September 28, 1943, the son of James and Dorothy Shatzel. He grew up in Holy Apostles Parish in Rochester, attended the parish school and later studied at the former St. Andrew's and St. Bernard's seminaries.

Father Shatzel was ordained a priest at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on June 7, 1969, by The Most Reverend Fulton J. Sheen, sixth Bishop of Rochester. The next day, he returned to the parish of his boyhood, Holy Apostles, to celebrate his first Mass of Thanksgiving. Years later, reminiscing about his many decades as a priest in a 2014 Catholic Courier article, Father Shatzel said, "If the Lord wants you to be a priest, you are never going to be happy unless you become a priest. I couldn't be happier."
During his priestly ministry, Father Shatzel served at St. James Church in Waverly and St. Pius Tenth in Van Etten (1969-1973); St. Boniface Church in Rochester (1973-1978); Our Mother of Sorrows Church, Greece (1978-1982); Holy Family Church, Auburn (1982-1986); St. Philip Neri Church, Rochester (1986-1996); Our Mother of Sorrows Church, Greece (1996-1998); St. Mary's Church, Bath, and St. Gabriel Church, Hammondsport, concurrently (1998-2003); St. Mary's Church, Honeoye (2003-2007); and the Good Shepherd Catholic Community, Aurora (2007-2014).

In June 2014, Father Shatzel was granted senior priest status with residence at St. Rita's Church, Webster, where he continued to provide priestly ministry.

Father Shatzel is survived by his sister, Kathleen Farinola of N.C.; brother, Thomas (Sharon) Shatzel of Greece; nephew, Scott (Meredith) Zanni; niece, Jennifer (Joseph Burdyck) Zanni; great-niece, Emily Zanni, great-nephew, Ryan Zanni, several cousins, many dear friends, and his Diocesan family, who mourn his loss.

Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, December 26, 2017, at Saint Rita Church, 1008 Maple Drive, Webster, beginning at 4:00 p.m., and concluding with Vespers at 7:00 p.m.
On Wednesday, December 27, 2017, the Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:00 a.m., at Holy Apostles Church, 530 Lyell Avenue, Rochester, with The Most Reverend Salvatore R. Matano, Bishop of Rochester, as the principal celebrant, and Father William B. Leone as homilist. Burial at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery will follow. Funeral Arrangements entrusted to Alvah Halloran & Son Funeral Home.

At the family's request, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Rochester Motherhouse, 150 French Road, Rochester, NY 14618.