Most Rev. J. Quinn Weitzel, 94, passed away on December 30, 2022 at the Maryknoll Mission Center in Ossining, New York.
He is survived by his beloved sister, Mary Joan Hennessy, sister-in-law, Marilyn Weitzel, and nine nieces and nephews.
Weitzel was preceded in death by his parents, Carl J. and Patricia Q. Weitzel, his brothers, Charles J. and William B. Weitzel, brother-in-law, Joseph F. Hennessy, and sister-in-law, Mary Margaret Weitzel.
Born in Chicago, Illinois on May 10, 1928, Weitzel attended St. Francis Xavier Elementary School in LaGrange, Illinois and St. Luke’s Elementary School in River Forest, Illinois. He attended Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Illinois before entering Maryknoll in his junior year at Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. He also attended Maryknoll Venard Apostolic College, Clark’s Summit, Pennsylvania, as well as Maryknoll Seminary, Ossining, New York, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and a Master of Religious Education degree. He later completed the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development in 1969.
Weitzel was ordained as a Maryknoll (Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America) priest on June 11, 1955 – Maryknoll’s largest-ever ordination class.
He was initially assigned to promotional and fundraising work in the Chicago area, and in 1959 was named Director of the Chicago Development House. He returned to New York in 1967 as Maryknoll Assistant Director of Development, becoming Director of Development in 1969.
He was granted a mission in Falealupo, Western Samoa in 1978where he mastered the language of the people he served and lived the mission of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, “Spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ through love and hope by serving those most in need across the world.”
Pope John Paul II appointed Weitzel as the first bishop of American Samoa on June 9, 1986, where he not only encouraged the faith community, but urged an expression of God’s Word and love that was primarily native in nature. He advocated family, education, community faith and music, becoming close with his congregants and the people of the region.
His Holiness, Pope Francis, accepted Weitzel’s letter of resignation on May 31, 2013. He was succeeded by the Most Reverend Peter Brown, C. Ss. R., who recently wrote, “(Bishop Quinn) was so greatly loved for the many years he ministered to the people of Samoa and will never be forgotten.” After retiring, Weitzel initially retired to the Maryknoll Residence in Los Altos, California, later relocating to the Maryknoll Mission Center in Ossining, New York.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held at the Maryknoll Mission Center in Ossining, New York on Wednesday, January 4, 2023. On January 17, 2023, a visitation will be held at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in River Forest, Illinois, beginning at 9:30 a.m. followed by Mass at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow at All Saints Cemetery, Des Plaines, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to either Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, PO Box 305, Maryknoll, NY, 10545, Attn: Council Secretariat, or the Diocese of American Samoa-Pago Pago, PO Box 596, Fatuoaiga Street, Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799. Arrangements entrusted to Zimmerman-Harnett Funeral Home. Info 708-366-2200 or www.ZimmermanHarnett.com.
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