FA­THER THOMAS ZOTTER

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - OBITUARIES -

Fa­ther Thomas Zotter, 70, passed away peace­fully at Sun­rise Hos­pi­tal, Las Ve­gas, Septem­ber 30, 2018. Fa­ther Tom was born Fe­bru­ary 15, 1948 to Mary E. Zotter and Al­bert R. Zotter in Pitts­burgh, Pa. He grew up in a lov­ing Ir­ish fam­ily with five aunts and un­cles, and nine cousins, and a Ger­man fam­ily with two aunts and an un­cle, and five cousins. He pursed his vo­ca­tion to priest­hood by en­ter­ing St. Fidelis Sem­i­nary, Her­man, Pa., in tenth grade. He grad­u­ated from St. Fidelis High School and Col­lege with a B.A. in Coun­sel­ing Psy­chol­ogy. He con­tin­ued his stud­ies at the Wash­ing­ton The­o­log­i­cal Coali­tion in An­napo­lis, Md. He was or­dained by Arch­bishop Robert F. Sanchez, Jan­uary 9, 1976 at his parish church, St. Gabriel, in Pitts­burgh, for the Arch­dio­cese of Santa Fe. Fa­ther Tom served as a priest in the Arch­dio­cese for 34 years, As­sis­tant Pas­tor, Our Lady of Fa­tima, Al­bu­querque; As­sis­tant Pas­tor, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Santa Fe; Pas­tor, Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion, Ci­mar­ron; Pas­tor, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Po­joaque; Pas­tor, Queen of Heaven, Al­bu­querque; Pas­tor, St, Ber­nadette (el­e­vated to the Shrine of St. Ber­nadette), Al­bu­querque. While serv­ing at St. Ber­nadette, Fa­ther Tom took cor­re­spon­dent cour­ses from the Je­suit School of The­ol­ogy, Berke­ley, Calif., and earned a Doc­tor of Min­istry. Tom was as­signed sev­eral chal­leng­ing par­ishes at the time. Tom suc­cess­fully turned them around. While serv­ing as Pas­tor in Po­joaque, Tom be­came life­long friends with Patty and Wil­fred Romero. Like­wise, while serv­ing at St. Ber­nadette, he be­came life­long friends of Dan Pau­los, Su­san Tomita, and Dea­con Byron and Made­line Wicker, and nu­mer­ous oth­ers. He was also a long-term friend of Fa­ther Ed Ortega. Tom’s crown­ing achieve­ment in the priest­hood was the ma­jor ren­o­va­tion of St. Ber­nadette, and its sub­se­quent el­e­va­tion, to the Shrine of St. Ber­nadette. Tom served as Pas­tor of St. Ber­nadette from Oc­to­ber 1, 1992 un­til June 30, 2010, ap­prox­i­mately one half of his priest­hood. Due to ill health, Tom was forced to take early re­tire­ment, and leave his beloved Shrine of St. Ber­nadette. Given the large drop in hous­ing prices in Las Ve­gas due to the hous­ing cri­sis, Tom moved there to buy a home. He con­tin­ued to per­form his priestly du­ties as a vis­it­ing priest un­der the pa­tron­age of Bishop Pepe, hear­ing con­fes­sions, and say­ing week­end masses at St. Joan of Arc, St. Brid­get, St. Anne and St. Christo­pher Catholic Churches. Tom was pre­de­ceased by his beloved par­ents, Al and Mary Zotter. Tom is sur­vived by his sis­ter, Mary Jo Fer­raro (Dan), Hous­ton; and his brother, Jim Zotter (Su­san); and five nieces and neph­ews, Liz, Lexi, and Ja­son Fer­rari, and Michael and Karen Zotter. A memo­rial ser­vice will be at 11 a.m. Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 9 at St. Brid­get Ro­man Catholic Church, 220 N. 14 St., Las Ve­gas, NV 89101. Fu­neral Mass will be cel­e­brated by Arch­bishop John C. Wester of the Arch­dio­cese of Santa Fe at the Shrine of St. Ber­nadette in Al­bu­querque, N.M., at 10 a. m. Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 22. A re­cep­tion will fol­low in the parish hall. All are in­vited. Burial will be at Gates of Heaven Ceme­tery in Al­bu­querque. Do­na­tions may be made in lieu of flow­ers to the Shrine of St. Ber­nadette Build­ing Fund.

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