The Rev. Wilfredo T. Comellas, 49, a Diocese of Scranton priest, died Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, at Ochsner St. Anne General Hospital, Raceland, La., after an illness.
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The Rev. Comellas, son of Wilfredo Tomas and the late Justa A. Comellas, was born in Havana, Cuba, on April 16, 1964. His father, Wilfredo Tomas, a political prisoner of the communist government, was set free in 1971 and brought his family to the United States as part of the Cuban Freedom Flight Program.
The Rev. Comellas received his early education at St. Joan of Arc School, Jackson Heights, N.Y., and graduated from St. John's Preparatory School, Astoria, N.Y. He then entered a two-year novitiate program with the Legion of Christ in Cheshire, Conn. He completed a degree in philosophy at Holy Apostles Seminary, Cromwell, Conn. The Rev. graduated from St. John's University, New York, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1998 and completed his studies for the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University, Orange, N.J., receiving his Master of Arts degree.
He was ordained to the priesthood on June 28, 2003, in St. Peter's Cathedral, Scranton, by the Most Rev. James C. Timlin, D.D., bishop emeritus of Scranton.
The Rev. Comellas was assigned as assistant pastor at St. Ann's Parish, Tobyhanna, with an additional assignment to the Hispanic Apostolate at Nativity of Our Lord Church, Scranton. Comellas was then appointed assistant pastor at Most Precious Blood Church, Hazleton, where he was later appointed administrator on Dec. 29, 2008. He served as assistant pastor at St. Aloysius and St. Casimir, Wilkes-Barre, and Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Hanover Township.
On Jan. 1, 2010, he requested permission to serve in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, La. He served there as chaplain of the Most Blessed Sacrament Faith Community, Gibson, La., and celebrated the traditional Latin Rite Mass for the Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of the Heart of Jesus in Lockport, La. In September 2011, he also began teaching theology at Holy Savior School in Lockport.
The Rev. Comellas was instrumental in establishing the Latin Mass congregation on the North Shore at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Lacombe, La., in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, where The Rev. Comellas also served as the chairman of Mysterium Fidei Mass Society.
He is survived by his father, Wilfredo Tomas Comellas Sr.; a brother, Leo M. Comellas; aunts and many cousins.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Justa A. Comellas.
The wake will take place at the Chapel of the Dominican Monastery of the Heart of Jesus, Lockport, La., beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday with Solemn Vespers.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday at Holy Savior Church, Lockport, La.
Interment will be in Holy Savior Parish Cemetery.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 7 p.m. on Dec. 2 by His Excellency, the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., bishop of Scranton, at St. Ann's Church, Tobyhanna.
Published in Citizens' Voice on Nov. 13, 2013