Obituary: Reverend William H. Pape


The Rev. William H. Pape

The Reverend William H. Pape died peacefully on Dec. 6, 2022, at Teresian House in Albany, NY, after a long illness. 

A native of Ravena, he was born March 9, 1943, to the late Rocco and Nancy (Frangella) Pape. He is survived by his sister-in-law Delphine Pape and many nieces, nephews and cousins. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers Joseph, John, Carmino, Alfred, Edward, Lawrence and Robert.  As the youngest of eight brothers, he had a deep love of family and he treasured time spent with them.

Father Pape’s faith, vocation and lifelong friendships were formed throughout his education at St. Patrick’s School, Ravena; Christian Brothers Academy, Albany; Mater Christi Seminary, Albany; Our Lady of Angels Seminary, Glenmont and St. Mauer Seminary, Indianapolis.  He also studied at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota.

He was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany by the Most Reverend Edwin B. Broderick, D.D. Ph.D., Bishop of Albany, on May 30, 1970.

He served at St. John the Baptist, Greenville; St. Mary’s Church and Bishop Scully High School, Amsterdam; and the Church of St. Peter, Saratoga Springs. He was the pastor of the combined parishes of St. Joseph, St. Michael and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Amsterdam and was also the dean of Montgomery County.  

Father Pape was director of Pastoral Care and chaplain at St. Mary’s Hospital, Troy, where he ministered to the patients and the staff of the hospital. He would often joke that he also earned his medical degree there.

His final assignment brought him full circle back to The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, where he became rector in July, 1994. Here he served and nurtured his parish with dedication while also overseeing the restoration of the “Mother Church” of the Diocese of Albany. He had a deep love for the history, the purpose and the future of both the cathedral parish community and the building itself.

Father Pape loved the liturgy of the Mass. After his retirement it brought him great joy to say Mass in various churches throughout the diocese and later for his fellow residents at the Teresian House.

He served on several church boards and was active in area ecumenical clergy associations. In 2014 he was honored by St. Peter’s Health Partners as “Clergy of the Year.”

Father Pape was known as a kind, compassionate and warm person. He easily drew people to him through laughter. He offered counsel to countless people and had a special ability to bring out the best in them. He truly lived his life to help others, which gave him great joy.  

Father Pape’s family would like to thank the entire staff at Teresian House for their love and compassionate care. In addition, they are grateful to his many friends and former parishioners who made a difference in his life through their love and affection for him.

The Rite of Reception of the Body were celebrated Monday, Dec. 12, from 4-7 p.m., at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Evening Prayer was offered at 6:45. Mass of Christina Burial was on Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The Mass may be viewed on the parish YouTube page at

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Cathedral Restoration Fund, 125 Eagle St., Albany, NY 12202.

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