THE TWO DOZEN Catholic priests who showed up at Father Paul Wiedman's funeral Mass yesterday agreed on the best way to describe him: He was a "priest's priest."
"He was truly an amazing priest," said his niece, Denise Every. "He was always there to serve others. He always put others' needs ahead of his own."
The Rev. Paul A. Wiedman, pastor emeritus of Queen of the Universe Parish in Levittown, died Nov. 25 at age 80. He would have turned 81 on Christmas Eve.
Even when he was suffering with a fractured shoulder that couldn't be operated on because of cardiac issues, Father Paul, in effect, gave his suffering to God.
"He said his suffering was nothing compared to what Jesus suffered on the cross," his niece said. "He saw his suffering as a benediction."
The family preferred to remember Paul as a man of amazing kindness, a man of quick wit, and a wisdom with which he offered incisive counseling to those who needed a problem solved or a spiritual lift.
After Paul broke his shoulder, he was admitted to Presbyterian Hospital, where it was determined that cardiac issues made surgery too risky. He was then moved to the Penn Hospice, where he died.
Paul was born in Philadelphia to John A. Wiedman and the former Marie Roppelt. He attended St. Matthew Parochial School and St. Joseph Preparatory School and went on to what was then La Salle College, now a university, before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
He was ordained on May 18, 1963, at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul by Cardinal John Krol, archbishop of Philadelphia.
Paul served as assistant pastor at St. Ann Parish, Phoenixville; St. Henry Parish, Philadelphia; St. Francis Cabrini Parish, Fairless Hills; Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Secane; St. Joseph Parish, Downingtown; and Holy Innocents Parish, Philadelphia.
In 1990, he was assigned to Queen of the Universe Parish in Levittown, where he was appointed pastor in September 1990 and pastor emeritus in 2008.
Besides his niece, he is survived by a sister, Rita Belfield, and other nieces and nephews.