Rev. Louis F. Aiello, Jr. passed away on April 8, 2019, at the age of 69. "Father Lou" as he was lovingly called, served the people of the diocese as a Roman Catholic priest for nearly 42 years.
A native of Syracuse, NY, Fr. Lou was one of four children of Louis and Frances (Morga) Aiello. He graduated from St. John the Baptist in Syracuse, NY, before completing his Bachelor of Arts degree from Le Moyne College. He entered Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora and earned a Master of Divinity degree and a Master of Arts in Theology degree. Father Lou was ordained a priest by Bishop Frank J. Harrison on May 7, 1977 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse. He was first appointed Associate Pastor of St. James Church in Cazenovia where he served from 1977 to 1983. He was appointed Associate Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church from 1983-1987. During this time, Father Lou pursued further studies from The Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University earning a Master of Arts in Philosophy degree and an Interdisciplinary Doctorate in Philosophy and Religious Studies. He then was appointed his first pastorate of St. Leo Church in Tully and its mission St. Patrick Church in Otisco where he served for twelve years.
In 2003, he was appointed Pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Syracuse where he served until 2006. Fr. Lou was named Diocesan Director of Religious Education in the year 2000. In 2002, he was named Diocesan Director of the Office of Deacon Formation. It became quite clear to all who knew him that he was truly called to the Ministry of Deacon Formation. Over the course of seventeen years, he had developed a formation program that is visionary, collaborative, inclusive and always open to possibilities. As he wrote when he was a deacon himself, "I have come to realize more clearly that Christ is continually drawing each of us into ever deepening relationship to Himself, the dimensions of which are unfathomable". This philosophy never changed in his priesthood and was well integrated in the formation of deacons. Father Lou served on the Board of St. Camillus, was a consultant to the Institute for Pastoral Growth, served in the Diocesan Office of Pastoral Planning and was a member of the Presbyterial Council and current Chair of the Priest Personnel Committee.
Father Lou's legacy will most notably be being a priest, a son, a brother, an uncle and a friend who placed the Holy Eucharist at the center of his life. He was a constant learner, a patient listener, a strong collaborator, and most of all, a gentle soul. He is survived by three siblings, Caroline (John) Wilson of Liverpool, Mary (Chet) Wisniewski of Liverpool and Steven (Lori) Aiello of Fayetteville; nieces and nephews, Christina (Pete) Heacox, Daniel (Kaitlin) Wilson, Matthew Wisniewski, Steven Aiello, Elizabeth Aiello and Thomas Aiello and one great-nephew, Malcolm Wilson. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Thomas J. Pirro Jr. Funeral Home. Reception of the body will take place on Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 4:00 pm. at The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse.
Visitation will also be held on Thursday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 259 E. Onondaga St., Syracuse, from 4:00-7:00 pm, at which time the Vigil Service will take place. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 am on Friday, April 12, 2019 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Private burial will be at St. Mary's Cemetery in DeWitt.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his name can be made to the Office of Deacon Formation, 240 East Onondaga St., Syracuse, NY 13202 or My Father's Kitchen, PO Box 11328, Syracuse, NY 13218. Words of comfort may be expressed at tjpfuneralhome.com