Father Ambrose Mahon recalled as pastoral ‘shepherd’

| March 4, 2016 | 0 Comments

Father Ambrose J. Mahon was an icon at St. Patrick Parish in Edina, having served there for more than a quarter century.

The long-time pastor, who died Feb. 17 at the age of 88, was remembered fondly by a former associate pastor, who said Father Mahon’s gift was being a “shepherd” to his flock.

Father Ambrose Mahon

Father Ambrose Mahon

“He spent 28 years at St. Patrick,” Father John Bauer said, “and baptized, married and buried thousands of people during his years there. People knew they could come to him at any time and he would respond with kindness, compassion and care.”

Born Jan. 29, 1928, and raised on a farm near Watertown, Father Mahon was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Feb. 23, 1958.

After serving as an associate pastor at Our Lady of Grace in Edina and Nativity of Our Lord in St. Paul, in 1970 he was appointed parochial administrator at the other parish in Edina, St. Patrick, and would never be assigned to another parish.

He was named pastor in 1976, served as an assistant from 1994 to 1996 before becoming St. Patrick’s pastor again from 1996 to 1998, when he retired.

“I was blessed to have worked with him for six years,” Father Bauer said. “He was a priestly colleague, a mentor and a friend.

“He taught me that when someone comes to the church for a wedding or baptism, the first words out of your mouth needed to be, ‘Congratulations,’ ” Father Bauer recalled.

“He would then talk with them about what they needed to do to prepare for the wedding or baptism. He always made time to visit someone in the hospital or hospice and anoint them.

“He was also one of the most pastoral priests I’ve ever met,” Father Bauer said.

Parishioner Mike Risvold, in a comment on an Internet legacy page, wrote: “Father Mahon was a great friend to the Risvold family. After our dad was confined to a wheelchair, he took the time to come to our house each Christmas Eve to say Mass in our living room.”

Visitation for Father Mahon will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. March 7 at St. Patrick, 6820 Saint Patrick’s Lane, Edina, and one hour before the 10:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial March 8, also at St. Patrick.

Interment will be at Holy Trinity Cemetery in Winsted.

Category: Obituaries