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Father Richard J. Cilano 1945-2021


Father Richard J. Cilano, who came to the priesthood after 30 years of marriage, died June 30, 2021. He was 75 years old.

Born Sept. 26, 1945, to Alphonse and Louise (Gombetto) Cilano in Rochester. He attended St. Andrew School and St. Bernard Seminary & College in Rochester where he earned a bachelor’s in Philosophy in 1967. He then received a teacher certification in English from SUNY Brockport.

Father Cilano had a unique personal story. After spending some time in seminary, he met Mary Agnes Dow. Feeling a new call to married life, he and Mary tied the knot and raised four children. He spent 32 years as an English teacher in the City Schools District of Rochester. After the passing of his wife and his youngest daughter leaving the family home for college, Father Cilano came to Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora at the age of 55 and completed his studies.

He was ordained Nov. 19, 2005, at St. Joseph Cathedral by Bishop Edward U. Kmiec. After serving as parochial vicar at Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Orchard Park, Father Cilano was named pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in East Bethany and St. Mary Parish in Pavilion in January 2008. He retired in 2014.

He is survived by his children Kristen, Mary Catherine, Anne and Robert, and grandchildren.

Father Cilano will lie in state from 9-11 a.m. on Monday, July 12, at Mary Immaculate, St. Mary’s Worship Site, 11095 St. Mary Street, Pavilion. A funeral Mass will immediately follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be at St. Patrick Cemetery in Victor.