February 18, 2005
Rev. Joseph A. CeliaThe Rev. Joseph A. Celia, who served at St. Pius X parish and was chaplain to the Catholic community for 16 years at Susquehanna, died Saturday, in the Essa Flory Hospice Center in Lancaster. He was 64 years old.
Celia was born in Lancaster to the late Joseph and Jennie (Amico) Celia.
He was ordained as a Catholic priest on May 20, 1967, and had many assignments as a priest throughout his life.
From May 1974 to April 1983 he served on Campus Ministry for Susquehanna and Bucknell Universities. Celia also served at St. Pius X parish and Campus Ministry at Susquehanna from August 1986 to August 2002.
He was Parochial Vicar to St. Leo the Great Parish in Lancaster.
The Rev. Mark Wm. Radecke said Celia was among the first to welcome him to Susquehanna when Radecke arrived in 1997.
"Though our schedules prevented us from spending as much time together as both of us would have liked, I considered Joe a true colleague in campus ministry," said Radecke.
"His affability, his love of students and his commitment to his vocation made him a very positive presence on our campus and in the community. We were blessed by his presence and his ministry among us," he added.
Celia enjoyed good food and cooking, reading, movies, shopping and sports. He also loved his pet boxer dogs.
Surviving, are one sister and brother-in-law, Mary Catherine and J. Jude Schlager of Lancaster; two nephews, Michael J. and Timothy J. Schlager; one niece, Karen Eichelberger; and six great-nieces and great-nephews.
The Mass of Transferal was held Tuesday at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Lancaster.
Mass of Christian Burial was held at the church Wednesday with The Most Rev. Kevin Carl Rhoades, Bishop of Harrisburg, as celebrant. The interment was private.
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