Celestine Pagini, OFM
1924 – 1987
Fr. Celestine Pagini, OFM, was born on March 17, 1924 in Albany, N.Y. After graduating from the Vincentian Institute in Albany, he served in the United States Army for four years. After the end of World War II, he worked for Standard Oil of Albany until he enrolled at Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., in 1948.
He entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1950, professing solemn vows one year later. He made his solemn profession in 1954 and was ordained in 1956.
Fr. Cel was then assigned to Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo, N.Y., where he taught mathematics for nine years. In 1961, he became a certified grapho-analyst, a skill he used in working with his students. He developed a great interest in speech therapy and spent two years at the State Teachers College of Buffalo, where he received a masters degree in speech pathology and audiology in 1969. He then worked in the Bristol, Conn., Catholic school system in the field of speech therapy.
In 1972, Fr. Cel joined the faculty at Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., where he opened a speech clinic for children with speech defects. He went to St. Louis University, where he received his doctorate in education in 1980. After graduation, he worked in Stonington, Conn., as a speech-language pathologist. In 1984, he began serving as a chaplain at a veteran affairs hospital in West Haven, Conn.
He died on Oct. 4, 1987, the feast of St. Francis, in his residence at the West Haven hospital. Fr. Cel was 63 years old, a professed friar for 36 years and a priest for 31 years.