Father Joseph M. Sasso, 91; priest for 65 years - Catholic Courier

Father Joseph M. Sasso, 91; priest for 65 years

Father Joseph M. Sasso died April 30, 2024. He was 91 years old.

“He was a very humble man, devoted to his faith,” remarked close friend Deacon David Ehrhart of the Diocese of Buffalo.

A Rochester native, Father Sasso grew up in St. Francis of Assisi Parish and graduated from Aquinas High School in 1950. He completed his seminary studies at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s seminaries and was ordained by Bishop James E. Kearney May 31, 1958, at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester.

After his ordination, Father Sasso served as associate pastor at St. Anthony, Rochester (1958-61); St. Mary, Canandaigua (1961-65); Good Shepherd, Henrietta (1965-69); and St. Mary of the Lake, Ontario (1969-70). He took a sabbatical year in 1970 and earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Rochester. He also served as chaplain at the Sisters of St. Joseph Infirmary in Pittsford for several months before becoming associate pastor at Holy Rosary Parish in Rochester.

After completing his assignment at Holy Rosary, Father Sasso served as associate pastor at St. John the Evangelist, Spencerport (1973-76); St. Patrick, Corning (1977-78); and St. Boniface, Rochester (1978). He also served as administrator at St. Dominic Parish in Shortsville from 1976-77.

In 1978, Father Sasso became pastor at Holy Angels in Nunda and Holy Name in Groveland Station and led those parishes until he reached senior status in 1994. He then assisted at St. Anne Church in Rochester until 1998, when he moved to LeRoy and began assisting at St. Peter Parish. He later assisted at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in LeRoy and St. Brigid Parish in Bergen.

Father Sasso met Deacon Ehrhart while both were serving at Our Lady of Mercy. When Father Sasso stopped driving a few years ago, Deacon Ehrhart drove the priest to Our Lady of Mercy and St. Brigid so he could still say Mass, and the two soon developed a fast friendship.

Father Sasso was an avid gardener, and when he wasn’t in church he usually could be found in his vast flower garden, Deacon Ehrhart said.

Father Sasso was predeceased by his parents, Rose and Saverio Sasso; and his sister and brother-in-law, Irene and Carlo E. DeSantis. He is survived by his nephews and nieces, John (Eric Esau) DeSantis, Ann-Marie (Sam Seymour) DeSantis, Donna DeSantis Snyder, James (Cynthia) DeSantis, Carla (Reni Caccamo) DeSantis; grandnieces and nephews, Mar DeSantis, Lauren Snyder, Eric (Montana) Snyder, Lillian DeSantis, Andrew DeSantis, Peter DeSantis, Luke Caccamo, Noah Caccamo, Julia Caccamo; and great-grandnieces, Amelia, Haisley and Mackenzie.

Calling hours for Father Sasso will be May 6, 2024, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Bartolomeo and Perotto Funeral Home, 1411 Vintage Lane in Greece; and May 7, 2024, from 9 to 10 a.m. at St. Anne Church, 1600 Mt. Hope Ave., Rochester. Father Sasso’s funeral liturgy will be celebrated May 7, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Anne Church. Interment will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Brigid Parish H.A.R.T. Team, 44 Lake St., LeRoy, NY 14482 or to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 1200 Scottsville Rd. #A, Rochester, NY 14624.

Tags: Priests
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