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Rev. Edward W. Abell

Deceased: 2014-10-02


ICTE Spring: 1990

REV. EDWARD W. ABELL accepted his invitation to Heaven on October 2, 2014. Born November 10, 1935 in Houston, Texas to Joseph Miles Abell and Julia Weathers Abell. He graduated from the University of Texas and entered St. Mary’s Seminary of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in 1960. He was ordained a priest on May 27, 1967 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church and began his ministry at St. Joseph’s Church under mentorship of the now retired Archbishop of San Antonio, Patrick Flores, who was pastor at the time. Ed is quoted as saying “I began my priesthood with the kindest, nicest man I’ve ever met. His patience was unbelievable.” 

Father Ed was later assigned to other churches in Galveston-Houston including Assumption Church, St. Thomas Moore Church, and St. Paul’s Church in Nassau Bay. He was named the founding pastor of Christ the Good Shepherd Church in 1978 and is quoted as saying, “I never enjoyed building buildings, but I loved building community.” He remained as pastor there until 1990. After a sabbatical at the North American College in Rome, he became pastor of St. Bartholomew’s Parish in Katy. Due to health reasons, he left St. Bartholomew’s in 1991 and was appointed spiritual director at St. Mary’s Seminary where he served until 2006. That same year he was named resident priest and spiritual director at the Cenacle Retreat House and served in that capacity until he was called Home.

Ed was predeceased by his parents and his brother Joseph Miles Abell, Jr., M.D.. He is survived by his sister-in-law Mary Anderson Abell and by his six nieces and nephews and their spouses: Joseph Miles Abell, III and wife Melinda Allen Abell; David Weathers Abell; Catherine Abell Gleason and husband Thomas Edward Gleason, Jr.; Julia Abell Merritt and husband Randall Charles Merritt; John Graham Abell; James Edward Abell and wife Amber Maxwell Abell; and great nieces and nephews: Bonnie Abell Muecke and husband Mark Walter Muecke, Joseph Miles Abell, IV, Julia Gleason Jessee and husband Lawson Wells Jessee, Thomas Edward Gleason, III, Benjamin Grant Gleason, Robert Staacke Merritt, William Weiland Merritt, Frank Anderson Abell, Ruby Catherine Abell, and three great great nieces and nephews. In addition to his immediate family, he leaves cherished life-long friend Kate Farrish Rivers and so many others that he loved as his own. 

Vigil for the deceased will take place on Monday, October 6 at St. Michael Church, 1801 Sage Road, Houston, TX 77056. Gathering will begin at 5:30pm, with a rosary at 6pm led by the Sisters of the Cenacle, and a Vigil Service at 7pm led by Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza. Funeral Mass will be on Tuesday, October 7 at 11am at Christ the Good Shepherd Church, 18511 Klein Church Road, Spring TX, 77379 with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo celebrant, bishops and priests of the Archdiocese concelebrants. Burial will be private. 

In loving appreciation of the Cenacle Sisters, Father Ed would like for any donations in his memory to be directed to the Cenacle Retreat House, 420 N. Kirkwood, Houston, TX 77079 www.cenaclesisters/

His enduring message to each of us is to “Choose Happiness.” And when the storms of life seem overwhelming, “Don’t pray the storm away, just invite Jesus into your boat.”