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Former Sterling pastor Fr. Donald Howard dies

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Atonement Father C. Donald Howard, former pastor of Christ the Redeemer Church in Sterling, died Jan. 6. He was 72. He retired from the parish in 2013 after nearly 25 years of service.

Visitation at Christ the Redeemer, 46833 Harry Byrd Hwy., Sterling, will be Jan. 16 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered Jan. 17 at 11 a.m.

He was born June 14, 1945, in Phoenixville, Pa., to George and Agnes Howard. He is survived by two sisters, Marilyn Miller and Ellen Piskai. He entered the Atonement Friars in 1959. He graduated from the St. Pius X Seminary in Garrison, N.Y., in 1968. He earned his master’s in liturgical studies at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. He was ordained June 3, 1972, by Bishop Joseph M. Pernicone.

Father Howard was appointed director of the office of liturgy for the Diocese of Richmond in 1978 and served as director of worship (1976-79) before becoming associate pastor of St. Bede’s Church in Williamsburg. He was the associate director and coordinator of retreats at the Christian Unity Center at Graymoor in 1981. He was appointed moderator of the Atonement Friary in Washington in September 1982 and served as retreat director at the Washington Retreat House (1984-85).

Father Howard served as director of the office of liturgy for the Archdiocese of Baltimore (1985-88) and as associate pastor at Christ the Redeemer in 1988. He became pastor in 1990. While at Christ the Redeemer, Father Howard was credited with overseeing a diverse congregation of Hispanics, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Indians, Pakistanis and Africans.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018