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Fr. William J Amann was born January 25, 1928, in Rochester, NY.
He was predeceased by his parents Anthony and Rose Amann, siblings Fr. Gerard, Dorothy, Willard, Carl “Buddy,” Clarence, and Eileen, many loving nieces and nephews, and many very precious friends.
Fr. Amann began his education in Rochester, NY, at St. Boniface school and parish. He attended Stella Niagara Cadet School in Lewiston, NY and Rochester’s Aquinas Institute, as well as St. Andrew’s Seminary, before earning a Philosophy degree from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He returned to Rochester and studied at St. Bernard’s Seminary, and was ordained by Bishop Kearney on June 5, 1954, at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Fr. Amann served as assistant pastor at St. Andrews, Rochester (1954-58), and Holy Trinity Webster, (1958-62), before becoming the first chaplain at Bishop Kearney High School (1962-65). He was assistant pastor (1965), copaster (1974-78) and pastor (1978-81) of Our Lady of Mercy in Greece, NY. He then served as administrator at St. Cecelia parish in Elmira for several months, before taking a sabbatical in Rome to study changes in the church post-Vatican II. After returning to the US in 1982, he helped found St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church (SEAS) in Hamlin, NY, which was one of his favorite experiences. Fr. Amann always gave the credit for the founding of SEAS to his parishioners. In 1990, Fr. Amann took another sabbatical, this time to Africa, to study enculturation and liberation theology. Upon retiring from the pastorate at SEAS in 1998, he lived and ministered at Our Lady of Lourdes (1998-2001) and St. Thomas More (2001-2009) in Brighton, and St. Joseph’s in Penfield (2009-2018). Fr. Amann resided most recently at the Saint Joseph’s Mother House in Rochester, NY. Fr. Amann had been in service as a Catholic priest for 69 years.
Fr. Amann loved the world God created. He enjoyed being an avid skier, including skiing in the Alps, and he was a world-wide traveler as well, including visiting all 7 continents. Fr Amann also enjoyed biking, and biked around the finger lakes and great lakes. He backpacked around Europe. He drove a VW Bug around Europe with a friend, including Russia in the 1960’s. He enjoyed camping around the Finger Lakes and Great Lakes. He canoed the entire length of the Erie Canal, parachuted, sail-planed, and took rides in WWII airplanes, even taking the stick to do a loop-de-loop in an old trainer. Fr. Amann was an avid reader and often quoted favorite passages. He also enjoyed attending the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada, and was proud to have attended since its beginning. Favorite places to visit include Prince Edward Island, St. John USVI and Thousand Islands.
Father Amann said three phrases, multiple times, every day: “Bless you,” Love you,” and “Thank you.” He had such a grateful heart. In fact, his favorite note of thanks was, “Thanks for it all! God is good and so are you. Love and prayers, Father Bill.”
Friends and Family may call THURSDAY August 10th from 5:30 PM-7:00 PM and FRIDAY August 11th from 10-11 AM at St. Joseph’s Church, 43 Gebhardt Rd., Penfield, NY 14526. Vigil held at 7 PM THURSDAY. Father’s Funeral Mass will be held 11 AM FRIDAY August 11th. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
Memorial donation directed to the Office of Mission Advancement, in care of Dawn Gruba, Sisters of Saint Joseph Mother House, 150 French Road, Rochester, NY 14618.