A memorial Mass was celebrated for Father William Wigand Jan. 8 in the St. Vincent de Paul Chapel of the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury. Father Wigand, a retired parish pastor, died Dec. 18. He was 67.
Father Wigand attended St. Louis Preparatory Seminary South, Cardinal Glennon College and Kenrick Seminary. He also had a master’s degree in social work from Saint Louis University. He was ordained by Archbishop John L. May in 1983 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.
His first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish in St. Louis. He was named associate pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish in St. Louis in 1985, Most Sacred Heart Parish in Florissant in 1987 and St. Rose of Lima Parish in DeSoto in 1991. Father Wigand was appointed to the faculty of St. Thomas Aquinas-Mercy High School in 1994 and part time associate pastor of Corpus Christi-St. Lucy Parish in Jennings in 1994. He remained in those roles until 2001 when he was named associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Farmington.
Father Wigand was named parochial administrator of Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Weingarten in 2003 and pastor there in 2008. He was granted medical leave in 2014 and lived at the Regina Cleri residence for retired priests.
Father Wigand was among a group of priests who regularly performed with the Catholic Youth Apostolate’s Father William Scheid Players. Their performances raise funds for the apostolate. He served on the St. Louis Review’s editorial board and on the Board of Catholic Education. After moving to Regina Cleri, he frequently visited the Cardinal Rigali Center next door and regularly heard confessions of Curia members.
“He lovingly referred to us as his ‘peeps’ and I know he enjoyed being able to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation with the Curia. He told me once that it was the one thing he was still able to do and he wanted to do it as often as he could,” Amy Buehrle, coordinator of the archdiocesan Office of Sacred Worship wrote in a message to fellow staff members.
Father Wigand wrote about the priesthood in the Review in 2010, remarking that “there is no legitimate shepherding, no valid preaching, no true healing, no authentic priesthood of any kind whatsoever except in the name of the Shepherd, the Preacher, the Healer — Jesus Christ Himself.”