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Bishop Ireton’s Brother Rick Wilson dies

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Franciscan Brother Rick Wilson, a longtime English teacher at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, died March 3 at age 66. 
He was born to Deanel Wilson and Irene Stepniak Wilson on Sept. 25, 1954 in Verdun, France, but was raised in Virginia. After graduating from George Mason University in Fairfax with two degrees in 1977 and 1980, he worked at Ireton from 1983 to 1989. He entered the Franciscans in 1980 and professed solemn vows in 1986 at St. Thomas More House of Studies in Washington. 
From 1990 to 1996, he was a professor of English at The Catholic University of America in Washington, where he earned a doctorate in American literature. In 1996, he returned to Ireton. He taught English and provided writing support at the school’s Word Write Shop. 
According to the Franciscan province, Brother Rick was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at an early age and, despite many serious medical setbacks, lived a very energetic and full life. He is survived by his brothers Robert, Dennis, Patrick, Timothy and their families. 
Head of School Kathleen McNutt informed the Ireton community of his death in a March 4 email. “He is now at peace with Our Lord and has most assuredly opened a Word Write Shop for all the writers in paradise,” she wrote. “He loved Bishop Ireton and in his last conversation with me, he reiterated his great love of teaching, his love for Bishop Ireton High School, and his desire to do God’s will. He shared with passion, ‘God put me on this Earth to teach. Bishop Ireton is my home.’ ”
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg, Pa., and interment will follow in the community cemetery. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, the funeral services will be restricted to the Franciscan community and immediate family members.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021