Msgr. Joseph J. Anderlonis, 75, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish in West Philadelphia, died Dec. 6, just 13 days short of his 50th anniversary in the priesthood.
Born in Philadelphia the son of the late Joseph Anderlonis and the late Ida (Krautis) Anderlonis, he attended St. Andrew School, Philadelphia and Father Judge High School before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
He also attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was ordained Dec. 19, 1969 by Bishop James J. Hickey at the Basilica of St. Peter, Rome.
His assignments include parochial vicar at Most Precious Blood Parish, Philadelphia; Resurrection of Our Lord Parish, Chester; Most Precious Blood Parish, Philadelphia and Old St. Mary’s Parish, Philadelphia. He also served on the faculty of Neumann University.
In 1982 he was named pastor of St. George Parish in Philadelphia and in 2016 was appointed pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish where he remained until his death.
Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs knew Msgr. Anderlonis for over 45 years, tracing back to their graduate student days in Rome, and they have remained best of friends.
“We always felt comfortable with each other,” he said. “He was always an interesting person to carry on a conversation with about the church in those days after Vatican II. It was like having a kindred spirit.”
Later when Father Anderlonis was in parish ministry Bishop Sheridan saw how down to earth he was in his ministry and how he loved the people.
“We are heartbroken,” said Karen Sand, business manager at St. Francis de Sales. “He always started the day with a joke. He was always with the people of his parish, and understood the personal lives of the families, was so down to earth. Now we have another angel to guide us.”
There will be a viewing for Msgr. Anderlonis at St. George Church on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. Mass.
Msgr. Anderlonis’ funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Francis de Sales Church on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. with Bishop Sheridan as the celebrant.
Concelebrants will include Msgrs. George Strausser and Daniel Sullivan, Fathers James Olson and Benjamin Wanonenyi, and Msgr. Robert Sheering, a former President of Seton Hall University, who will be the homilist.
Msgr. Anderlonis is survived by his brothers Thomas and Andrew, and nieces and nephews.
Interment will be private. At Msgr. Anderlonis’ wishes, in lieu of flowers, donations to either St. Francis de Sales Parish or to St. George Catholic School would be appreciated.
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