PITTSTON — Rev. Joseph J. Adonizio will celebrate his 60th anniversary of priesthood with a special Mass of Thanksgiving at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 5 at St. Joseph Marello Parish, 237 William St., Pittston.
A reception will be held in the adjoining parish hall. To make reservations, call St. Joseph Marello Parish at 570-654-6902 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to respond is May 28.
Adonizio, son of the late Gaetano Adonizio and Concetta Lello Adonizio, was born and raised in Hughestown. He attended Hughestown grade schools and graduated from Hughestown High School. He graduated from The University of Scranton with bachelor’s degrees in philosophy, psychology and education. Adonizio graduated from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, earning a Master of Arts degree in education and administration. He taught in Hughestown public schools in the English and Latin departments.
He was licensed by the state Department of Education in Harrisburg as a principal of both elementary and high schools. He received a certificate as guidance counselor and also a certificate to serve as superintendent of schools in the state of Pennsylvania.
He entered the Seminary of Christ the King at St. Bonaventure’s, Olean, New York for his theological training and received a master’s degree in theology and graduated magna cum laude. He was ordained into the priesthood by Bishop Jerome D. Hannon, D.D. on May 26, 1956, at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Scranton. He offered his first mass at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Pittston, his home parish, in May 27, 1956.
Adonizio’s priestly assignments were as follows: a temporary at St. Elizabeth Church, Bear Creek; assistant pastor of St. Francis Church, Nanticoke, for eight years; appointed first principal and founder of Holy Cross High School, Dunmore, in 1964. It was during this period as principal that the school became certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and he also had the school approved by the Middle Atlantic States. He oversaw the building of the school and organized the first faculty in the entire high school system of education.
He was a professor of philosophy and psychology at both Misericordia University (then-College Misericordia) and Marywood University (then-Marywood College). Afterwards, he served as assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception, Wilkes-Barre.
Adonizio’s first pastoral assignment was at St. Mary’s Assumption Church, Jessup. During his 14-year tenure, he completely renovated the church, church hall and rectory. He built a shrine in honor of Our Blessed Lady and also introduced all the latest changes for Vatican II during this time.
He served as pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in West Pittston from 1985 to 1999. During his tenure, he served as a member of the pastoral board of Seton Catholic High School. He completed the renovation of the church, properties and grounds, re-established and renewed all of the church societies, established and organized all of the following lay ministries in the parish. He also served two four-year terms as dean of West Pittston Deanery and was a member of the Greater Pittston Ministerium.
After his appointment as Pastor Emeritus of Immaculate Conception Church, he accepted the assignment as pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church, Hughestown for one year. Currently, he continues to serve the faithful of God throughout the diocese in various pastoral assignments.