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Funeral services set for Rev. Steve Wetzel, FOP chaplain and ex-St. Joachim pastor

The Rev. Steve Wetzel

Funeral Services are set for the Rev. Steven P. Wetzel, chaplain to Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 and a former pastor at St. Joachim Church, in Frankford.

Wetzel died Wednesday from complications of a stroke. He was 64 and resided at St. Matthew rectory.

Wetzel was a graduate of St. Timothy Grammar School and Father Judge High School (class of 1977).

Following graduation from Judge, he joined the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales and made his first profession of vows as a Lay Brother on Aug. 9, 1980.

From 1982-95, he served as a hospital pastoral associate and chaplain, vice principal at St. Thomas More Parochial School in Allentown and chaplain and firefighter for the Upper Saucon Fire Department in Center Valley, Lehigh County.

In 1996, he was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate and served as a deacon at a Florida parish, then at St. Joachim from 1997 to 2001, then at St. Joseph Manor until being ordained to the priesthood in 2003.

Following ordination, Wetzel served as parochial vicar at Our Mother of Consolation Parish in Chestnut Hill and was named pastor of St. Joachim in 2005. He remained at St. Joachim until it closed in 2013, then had a brief assignment as parochial vicar at a parish in Virginia.

In January 2014, Wetzel helped to found the Michael the Archangel Ministry Program at the FOP and remained chaplain to active and retired officers and their families until his passing.

A viewing will take place on Thursday, May 5, at St. Matthew, 3000 Cottman Ave., from 5-8 p.m. On Friday, May 6, the viewing will continue at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, 1723 Race St., from 9-11 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial.

On Monday, May 9, he will be buried at the Oblate Cemetery in Maryland.

In memory of Wetzel’s life and legacy, donations may be made to the Oblate Development Fund: https://secure.etransfer.com/EFT/custom/Oblates/flexblockcodegive/donation1.cfm?d2org=OblatesDevelopmentFund&d2tool=donate. ••

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