Redemptorist author, missionary, pastor and professor, who survived the sinking of the Andrea Doria, Father Joseph William Oppitz, C.S.S.R., died Oct. 6 under the care of his religious community in the St. John Neumann Residence at Stella Maris in Timonium, Md.
Father Oppitz was born Aug. 12, 1926 in Baltimore, Maryland. He professed his first vows on August 2, 1948 and final vows Sept. 2, 1951. He was ordained a priest June 21, 1953 at Esopus, NY.
From 1954 to 1956 he studied at the Angelicum in Rome where he received his doctoral degree in philosophy. For nearly 22 years of his priesthood he taught at various levels in the Redemptorist seminary formation system of the Baltimore Province and at Dunbarton College in Washington, D.C.
From 1982 to 1984 he served on the mission team and was a part-time parish priest at St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Philadelphia and St. Wenceslaus Parish in Baltimore, Md. From 1985 to 1986 he served as parish priest in St. Mary’s in Annapolis. From 1986 to 1993 he continued to serve as a missionary and part-time parish priest in Ephrata, Pa.. He also served as a pastor in Pittsburgh, Pa.; retreat master in Canandaigua, N.Y. and as an itinerant missionary until his retirement in February of 2000 first to the St. John Neumann Residence in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. and finally to Stella Maris in Maryland.