Fr. Weible (1928-2016): world-traveled priest who retired to Arizona

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Fr. Thomas Weible

Born: Feb. 6, 1928, Los Angeles, Calif.

Ordained: April 30, 1959 for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Service in the Diocese of Phoenix:

Sacramental and priestly ministry, as needed at various parishes 2004-2016

Died: March 5, 2016

Funeral: 11 a.m. March 10 at St. Anthony of Padua, 232 N. Tegner St. in Wickenburg

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Fr. Thomas Weible was among the pool of priests who local Catholics got to know only in retirement, but his lifetime of priestly ministry impacted countless in at least five countries including several U.S. states. He passed away March 5 at the age of 88.

“One of his gifts was he was a compassionate person. He was a magnet to people,” said Fr. Henry Dahl, who is also serving in Arizona in retirement.

He took care of his longtime friend in later years and was recently looking through Fr. Weible’s address book. He stopped counting after reaching 600 names.

Fr. Weible was a native of Los Angeles. He was born Feb. 6, 1928 the youngest of six children and lost his dad at a young age. His mother worked hard during the Great Depression and beyond to provide for her children, including Catholic education, and never forgot to model the faith.

Fr. Weible served a brief stint in the Army following World War II and entered the seminary shortly thereafter. He was ordained April 30, 1959 in Los Angeles and served in his home archdiocese until he became among 47 Maryknoll Missioners in 1962. Assignments took the priest to Peru, Chile and Bolivia over the next five years, including time as pastor.

Fr. Weible’s command of the Spanish language also allowed him to run an orphanage in Tecate, Mexico for a short time. He spent much of the 1980s as chaplain at Mercy Medical Center in Oregon.

Health issues forced him into an early retirement, but Fr. Weible didn’t slow down much. He served as spiritual director at Mt. Angel Seminary in Oregon and taught English as a second language. He crossed the country in the mid-to-late 1990s to offer supply help for the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts and crossed a couple of borders to offer spiritual direction at a seminary in Connecticut.

By 2004, Fr. Weible came to Arizona to be near surviving family, then a sister and two brothers in the Northwest Valley. Despite declining health issues, he continued to offer priestly ministry, including Mass and confession, at various parishes in the Diocese of Phoenix, including St. Clement of Rome in Sun City and St. Anthony of Padua in Wickenburg.

One brother, Robert Weible in Wickenburg, survives him.

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