Father Patrick J. Mascarella, a retired priest with the Diocese of Baton Rouge, passed away late Wednesday, Jan. 23 at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, where he was recovering from recent heart surgery. He was 77-years-old.
Father Patrick Mascarella
Father Mascarella was born April 12, 1941 in Baton Rouge. He attended St. Joseph Seminary in St. Benedict and Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, where he graduated in 1963. He was ordained a priest on Dec. 17, 1966, by Bishop Robert E. Tracy, at St. Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge. Father Mascarella served as pastor of St. Isidore the Farmer Church in Baker; Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Denham Springs; and, Christ the King Church and Catholic Center in Baton Rouge. He also served as parochial vicar for St. Charles Borromeo in Baton Rouge; St. Theresa of Avila in Gonzales; Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton Rouge; Christ the King Church and Catholic Center in Baton Rouge; St. Joseph Church in Paulina; Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Gramercy; and, St. Michael Church in Convent.
Father Mascarella was director of Continuing Formation of Priests from 1984 – 2007 and was a member of the College of Consultors from 1970-1973.
Father Mascarella, who celebrated his golden jubilee in 2016, introduced key programs on stewardship on the church parish level, directing continuing formation for priests and helping to create and adopt new ways of evangelization through faith-based classes, retreat leadership and increased liturgical participation.
Father Mascarella lost his eyesight to multiple eye conditions that likely began when he was a young boy. When he retired in 2009 at the age of 68, he was an inspiration to many simply by his daily walk and trusting in God’s will, according to those who knew him.
Always seen with Father Mascarella on those walks, as well as at Masses and anywhere he went, was his faithful companion and guide dog, Pace. Father Mascarella describe Pace as a “compassionate dog who is especially attuned to the feelings of others.” He said Pace’s favorite place to visit was LSU because he would take Pace’s harness off, meaning he was off duty, and the students enjoyed playing with him. Pace received the Service Animal of the Year Award by the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs on Dec. 13, 2012. Pace is currently living with family members of Father Mascarella.
Father Mascarella was also an artist, whose favorite art activity was painting by using Braille to label each paint tube when it is purchased. He then envisioned the colors together or would get advice from others.
Visitation for Father Mascarella will be Monday, Jan. 28, from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at St. Aloysius Church, 2025 Stuart Ave. Baton Rouge. The funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. with Bishop Michael G. Duca presiding.