Deacon John T. Pattison, a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Rochester since 2012, died Oct. 18, 2019. He was 68 years old.
Deacon Pattison, a Corning native, graduated from Corning West High School and the University of Buffalo. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Cornell Law School in 1976 and built a national telecommunications law practice, retiring in 2015 as a partner with the Harter Secrest & Emery law firm.
He converted to the Catholic faith in his early 40s, eventually studying for the permanent diaconate at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry.
“The pull to become a deacon has never waned at all; if anything, it’s intensified,” Deacon Pattison told the Catholic Courier in 2012 prior to his ordination.
Deacon Pattison was ordained by Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark on June 2, 2012, and went on to serve at his home parish, Church of the Assumption in Fairport, until being granted senior status in June of 2018.
“He was a brilliant litigator and a very articulate preacher,” said Father Ed Palumbos, a senior priest in the Diocese of Rochester who was Deacon Pattison’s pastor at Church of the Assumption.
“He cherished each day as a gift, and he blessed us all in doing so. His wisdom and service truly were that of a shepherd who would lead us by a Christ-like example,” added Deacon Matt Dudek, a 2012 classmate of Deacon Pattison’s.
Deacon Pattison is survived by his wife, Paula; sons, Craig John (Jenny) and Ross (Erin) Pattison; grandson, Charles Zak Pattison; sister, Jean (Gary) Baker; brother, Charles (Christine) Pattison; and nieces, nephews and cousins.
His funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 1 p.m. at Church of the Assumption, 20 East Ave., Fairport.
Gifts may be made in Deacon Pattison’s memory to the Open Door Mission (opendoormission.com) and Legal Assistance of Western New York (lawny.org).