Death came suddenly and peacefully to Josephite Father John Filippelli on the morning of November 24, 2017. He had been living at St. Joseph Manor, Baltimore, having retired from St. Joseph Seminary four years ago. He had just celebrated the sixtieth year of his ordination to the priesthood and was eighty-seven years old.

Father was born in Manhattan, the last of seven children born to Salvatore and Antoinette Zazzarino Filippelli. He attended Power Memorial Catholic High School in Manhattan and after graduation he felt called to the Josephite minor seminary in Newburgh, N.Y. in 1948.

When he had completed his novitiate and theological studies at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Washington he was ordained at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception there in 1957.

He spent a year at Catholic University before being assigned to the staff of the Joseph minor seminary (Epiphany College) in Newburgh for the next fourteen years. While there, Father was also active in ministry in the Hispanic and African-American communities.

His first pastoral assignment was to St. Pius V parish in Baltimore where he was also elected Area Director of the Josephites. In 1979 he was elected Superior General, a post that extended to 1987 when he was appointed pastor of Baltimore’s St. Francis Xavier parish.

Father Filippelli became rector of St. Joseph Seminary in Washington, D.C. in 1996. Seven years later, he became spiritual director to the students and also novice director for two years. Health reasons saw him retired to St. Joseph Manor in 2014.

Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Francis Xavier Church, 1501 East Oliver Street, Baltimore, at 11:00 a.m., on Wednesday, November 29, with visitation from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Burial was at the Josephite plot in New Cathedral Cemetery, Baltimore. May he be at rest after a long and fruitful journey.

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