June 18, 1929 May 7, 2014
Father Neil Saller, T.O.R., 84, of the Third Order Regular Franciscans of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, died Wednesday at UPMC Altoona after a brief illness. He resided at St. Francis Friary at Mount Assisi, Loretto, where he was in the ministry of prayer.
He was born in Altoona and given the name Raymond. He was the son of the late Charles J. and Mary (Hipp) Saller.
Surviving are a sister, Joanne Kough of Phoenixville; a brother, Charles and wife, Peggy, of Harrison City; as well as nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and his Franciscan brothers.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Rosemarie Saller.
Father Neil was a graduate of St. Mary Elementary School, Altoona, and St. Francis Preparatory School, Spring Grove, in 1948. After high school graduation, he entered the Franciscans in June 1948 at Sacred Heart Novitiate, Loretto. He professed his temporary vows on July 1, 1949, and his solemn vows on July 1, 1952, and he was ordained to the priesthood by the late Bishop John M. McNamara, D.D., auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., on June 9, 1956.
Father Neil received a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from St. Francis College and did theology studies at St. Francis Seminary, Loretto, and the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. He received a J.C.L. in canon law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) and a J.U.L. in canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University, and he did postgraduate studies in canon law at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
During his long and very faithful Franciscan life, Father Neil worked in various ministries of the province. In the education ministry, he served at St. Francis Seminary, Loretto; Bishop Conwell High School, Levittown; and Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. In parochial ministry, he served at Immaculate Conception Church and St. Edmond Church in Philadelphia; Sacred Heart Church, Canadian, Texas; Corpus Christi Church, Willingboro, N.J.; St. Paul Church, Princeton, N.J.; and St. Monica Church, Jackson, N.J. He was chaplain for the Sisters of St. Agnes, Fond du Lac, Wis. He did pastoral ministry for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, N.M.
Friends will be received from 6 to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 11, 2014, at the chapel of St. Francis Friary at Mount Assisi, Loretto, where a vigil service will be celebrated at 7 p.m. A funeral Mass will be concelebrated at 10 a.m. Monday, May 12, 2014, at St. Francis Friary Chapel at Mount Assisi, the Very Rev. Richard L. Davis, T.O.R., minister provincial, as principal celebrant. After the Mass, interment will take place in the Franciscan Friars' Cemetery on the campus of St. Francis University, Loretto.
Memorial contributions may be made to support retired T.O.R. friars in care of T.O.R. Retirement Fund, St. Francis Friary, P.O. Box 137, Loretto, PA 15940.
Arrangements are by Gibbons Funeral Home, 301 Church St., Gallitzin.