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.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103