Fr. Pilon: Loves Academics

Since his ordination 25 years ago, Father Mark A. Pilon, pastor of St. Ambrose Parish in Annandale, has not only kept up his pastoral duties as a priest, but has also been a scholar, teacher and author. "The academic scene has always been my first love," said Father Pilon. "But I have thoroughly enjoyed being a pastor. The people of St. Ambrose have made being a pastor easy and enjoyable." Born in Detroit on March 23, 1943, to Ernest and Elizabeth Pilon, both deceased, Father Pilon attended Our Lady of Lourdes School in River Rouge, Mich., and graduated from Holy Trinity Seminary at the University of Dallas in 1975. He went on to earn a master's degree in educational administration from Catholic University in Washington in 1978 and was a lecturer in philosophy of education at the university from 1978-79. After his ordination by Arlington Bishop Thomas J. Welsh on Nov. 29, 1975, he was parochial vicar at St. Louis Parish in Alexandria. He began teaching religion at Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington in 1977 and was in residence at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Arlington until 1980; at St. Agnes Parish in Arlington until 1983; and St. John in McLean until 1985. Father Pilon lived in Rome from 1985-87 while studying at the Pontifical Lateran University Instituto Giovanni Paolo II. He was the second American to earn his license in sacred theology, summa cum laude, from the institute in 1987, followed by a doctorate in systematic theology from Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome in 1991. He was parochial vicar at St. John the Baptist Parish in Front Royal and then professor of theology at Christendom College in Front Royal until 1990. He has been pastor at St. Ambrose since 1990. He also taught theology at Notre Dame Institute (now Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College) from mid-1970s until 1992. He taught at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria from 1966-70. From 1970-85, Father Pilon helped found and worked with the Institute for Study of Catholic Culture in Spain. He was publisher and assistant editor of Triumph magazine from 1970-73 and contributing editor until 1975. He translated into English from Latin and Spanish Commentary on the Credo of the People of God by C. Pozo, S.J., the book A Theological Commentary by C. Pozo, S.J., was published in 1980 by Franciscan Herald Press. He authored Understanding the Church from the Teaching of Lumen Gentium, Kairos Publications, 1984; and Magnum Mysterium: The Dignity of Marriage and the Family, Kairos, 1985. Most of Father Pilon's family still lives in Michigan. He has three brothers and one sister, 40 nieces and nephews and 87 grand-nieces and-nephews. One of his nephews, Jerome, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., in 1989, and Jerome's brother, Peter, will be ordained this year for the same diocese.

Copyright ?2000 Arlington Catholic Herald.  All rights reserved.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2000