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Monsignor Frank Wissel, 76, Served At St. John In Darien

Monsignor Frank C. Wissel
Monsignor Frank C. Wissel Photo Credit: The Daily Voice/Contributed

GREENWICH, Conn. - Monsignor Frank C. Wissel, the former pastor of St. Mary Parish in Greenwich, died Thursday, June 19. He was 76.

Wissel was born Jan. 29, 1938, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Frank Wissel and Ann Mooney. He attended Long Island University, receiving master's degrees in both science and professional studies, with majors in guidance and counseling. For 17 years he was a teacher and administrator in the Catholic schools of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

From 1972 to 1975, Wissel served as an adjunct professor of psychology at City University of New York, and from 1973 to 1975, was a psychologist for the New York City Board of Education, specializing in teenagers with severe problems.

He received his doctorate in psycho-theology and ministry from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, Calif.; and held New York Certification in teaching, guidance, and counseling. He was a certified counseling psychologist in the State of Connecticut.

Wissel entered Maryknoll Seminary in Maryknoll, N.Y. He was ordained for the Diocese of Bridgeport by Bishop Walter W. Curtis in 1977. He served at St. John Parish in Darien; and three parishes in Bridgeport: Saint Mary, Saint Anthony, and Blessed Sacrament. From 1981 to 1991, he was principal of Kolbe Cathedral High School in Bridgeport.

He was the founder and director of the Saint Maximilian Kolbe House of Studies for Boys, established in Bridgeport in 1983. In 1997, he was appointed pastor of St. Mary Parish in Greenwich. He served on the board of trustees of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, where he received an honorary doctorate in humane letters in 1994. For more than 10 years, he wrote a popular column in the Greenwich Citizen newspaper.

Wissel will be lying in state at St. Mary Church in Greenwich from 10 a.m until 7 p.m. Monday, June 23. A Vigil Mass will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Monday, June 23. The celebrant and homilist will be Monsignor William Scheyd, pastor of Saint Aloysius Parish in New Canaan. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 24, at St. Mary Church. The celebrant will be the Most Rev. Frank J. Caggiano, bishop of Bridgeport. Monsignor J. Peter Cullen, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Greenwich, will deliver the homily. Interment will follow in the priests' circle at St. Mary Cemetery in Greenwich.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Monsignor Wissel's memory to the Kolbe Cathedral High School Scholarship Fund, 33 Calhoun Place, Bridgeport, CT 06604.

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