St. Francis Community Saddened by Loss of Father B

As a day of mourning and out of respect for Father B and the tremendous impact he had on our school and our students, we are closing school this Thursday, February 23, so that our faculty and staff may attend the funeral mass at 11:00 AM.  Thursday will not be a cyber day, and the day will not be made up, but rather will be absolved from the school calendar.  Additionally, the school will not be accessible for the day, and we will not offer child care or Keepers for the day.  The Mason-Dixon Championship games will be played in the evening as scheduled.

Families are welcomed and encouraged to bring age-appropriate students to the viewing on Wednesday, as well as to the funeral mass on Thursday.  Details for both are included below:

Father Colombo F. Bandiera, 91, of Morgantown, retired Priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, W.Va., passed away Sunday, February 19, 2017, at his residence.

He was born December 18, 1925, in Morgantown, W.Va., the son of the late Joseph Bandiera and the late Antonia (Pisegna) Bandiera.

Father Bandiera was educated at St. Francis Grade and High Schools.  He did his undergraduate work at St. Charles College in Catonsville, Md., and his graduate work in Theology at St. Mary University and Seminary in Baltimore, Md.  He was ordained May 31, 1952, at St. Joseph Cathedral in Wheeling, W.Va., by the late Bishop Thomas J. McDonnell, DD.  Over the course of more than six decades of his religious life, he served as Associate Pastor at St. Joseph Cathedral from 1953-1955, and was the Pastor of St. John Catholic Church in Clarksburg, W.Va., from 1955-1969, where he also helped oversee the operation of Notre Dame High School.  Additionally, he served as Pastor of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Morgantown from 1969-1979 and served his longest tenure as Pastor at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church in Fairmont, W.Va., from 1979-1994.  During his time at St. Peter’s, he also served on the Board of Directors at Fairmont General Hospital for four years.  Father Bandiera served as the Diocesan Youth Director from 1963-1967, and was Chairman of the Sub-Committee of Art and Architecture for the Diocesan Liturgy Committee from 1963-1965.

Father Bandiera announced his retirement from active ministry in 1994, but less than four years later after the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston merged the parishes of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church of Westover, W.Va., and St. Theresa’s Church in Morgantown, he ended his retirement to Pastor the newly formed St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Morgantown, a position he held until his retirement in 2005.

He is survived by his brother, Joseph D. and Jerilyn Bandiera of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by one brother, Toney Bandiera and a sister, Amelia Allegrini.


Reception of the Body will be Wednesday, February 22, 2017, at 11 A.M. at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, Morgantown, W.Va., with visitation to follow until 7 P.M., time of Vigil Service.  Thursday, February 23, 2017, friends will be received from 9-11 A.M., followed by the Mass of Christian Burial with Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, presiding; and Father John V. DiBacco as celebrant and priests of the diocese as concelebrants.

Private interment will be held on Friday, February 24, 2017.

In lieu of flowers, Father Bandiera requested that contributions in his memory be made to St. Francis Central Catholic School, 41 Guthrie Lane, Morgantown, WV 26508.


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Updated: February 20, 2017 — 12:42 pm

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