Rev Warren W. Metzler (1937-2016)

Reverend Warren Metzler passed to his eternal reward on Friday, January 1, 2016, after a brief illness.

Warren Metzler was born in Braddock Hospital July 20, 1937, the second of 4 children to Paul W. and Ellen (Zentner) Metzler. He attended elementary school in Whitaker and graduated from St. Thomas High School in 1955. He attended Minor Seminary at St. Gregory in Cincinnati and Major Seminary at St. Vincent in Latrobe, graduating in 1964. He was ordained for the Diocese of Pittsburgh on May 9, 1964 by Bishop John Wright and offered his First Mass the following day at St. Rita Church in Whitaker.

Father’s assignments as a parochial vicar were somewhat evenly divided over 17 years between Most Blessed Sacrament in Natrona Heights, St. Susanna, Penn Hills and St. Edward, Blawnox. During that time he served for 15 years as a Master Catechist for the diocesan CCD, regional and twice national chaplain to the Christian Family Movement, and hospital chaplain to several area hospitals. From 1972 to 1976 Father was chairman of the Association of Pittsburgh Priests, and he has served as President of the Wilkinsburg Ministerial Association. After his 25th ordination anniversary, Father returned to school to Duquesne University where he received his second Master’s degree in Theology, this time in Health Care Ministry.

He was Pastor of St. James Church in Wilkinsburg for 34 years, longer than any other in the church’s history.

Father’s ministry was strongly influenced by Pope John 23rd and the Second Vatican Council, and, most recently, by the vitality and exuberance of Pope Francis. He often said that his priesthood was sustained and focused by principles of Justice and Peace, and the powerful examples of faith he saw while working with and developing lay leadership in the parishes he served.

Father had many interests. Among them were golf, movies, solving cryptograms and spending time at his cabin in Armstrong County. He maintained strong interest in his family history deeply rooted in its Irish and Swiss Mennonite origins. Last June Father was on the planning committee for the 275th anniversary celebration of the coming to the United States in 1738 of Valentine Metzler, his fourth great-grandfather, held last June at Metzler Mennonite Church on Metzler Road in Lancaster County.

Father Metzler was preceded in death by his parents, and sisters Patricia Zentner and Joanne Docherty, and is survived by his brother, Paul J., and Paul’s wife Charlene living in Export PA, and eight nieces and nephews, scattered around the country.

On January 5th, Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. James Church. Father was buried at All Saints Cemetary in Braddock Hills.

An obituary was also published in the Post Gazette.