WILMINGTON — Father Nicholas R. Waseline, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales who was the pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Wilmington, died April 18 at St. Francis Hospital after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 67.
“He was a quiet man of strength who served generously wherever he was missioned,” said Father James J. Greenfield, the Oblate provincial. “His love of the Gospel and his belief in its power to change hearts were sources of inspiration. He had deep confidence and faith in the ability of people to work together to achieve greatness for others, especially those in need.”
Father Waseline entered the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales in 1969 after he graduated from Marian Catholic High School near his hometown of Mahanoy City, Pa. He held a bachelor’s degree from Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, now De Sales University, and graduate degrees from both the De Sales School of Theology and Villanova University. He was ordained in Philadelphia in 1980.
As an Oblate, he was a teacher, assistant principal and principal at various Catholic high schools, including Father Judge and Northeast Catholic in Philadelphia. He was the novice and formation director of the congregation’s seminary program, and he was a parochial vicar, or associate pastor, of St. Joachim Parish in Philadelphia and Holy Redeemer by the Sea in Kitty Hawk, N.C.
On a profile posted on the Oblates’ website, Father Waseline said obedience was the vow he took that most connected him to the people he served. Obedience, he said, meant “listening to the people as the voice of God so as to fulfill my role as ‘servant pastor.’”
Bishop Malooly offered a Mass for the repose of Father Waseline’s soul in Annecy, France, where he was leading a pilgrimage to mark the Diocese of Wilmington’s 150th anniversary. Annecy is also the international home of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.
“He was an outstanding pastor of St. Anthony of Padua and leader of the parish schools. I thought so highly of Father that I appointed him to my Priest Council. We send our condolences to Father’s parish family and to the Oblates,” the bishop said in a statement.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Ninth and Dupont streets, on April 25 at 7 p.m. A viewing precedes the Mass, beginning at 2 p.m. Burial will be at the Oblate cemetery, 1120 Blue Ball Road, Childs, Md., on April 26 at 10 a.m. A light reception will follow.
Donations in Father Waseline’s name can be made to the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, 2200 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806.