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Rev. Msgr. William M. Pickard

Deceased: 2015-08-25


ICTE Spring: 1991

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Rev. Monsignor William M. Pickard, born January 22, 1930, to P.L. and Madeline Murphy Pickard, died on Tuesday, August 25, 2015, after a 10 year journey with Alzheimer ‘s disease.”Father Bill” (as he preferred to be called), loved being a priest. He loved music, singing, dancing, and he loved people! He loved celebrating the Mass. As a sports fan, he cheered on the Aggies for his grandfather, the Longhorns for his mother, and the Texans and Astros. Fr. Bill was the youngest of five children and was educated in Catholic schools by the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament before entering the seminary in 1947 with his dear friend, Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, with whom he recently celebrated 61 years of priesthood. Fr. Bill and Archbishop Fiorenza were ordained together on May 29, 1954, by the late Bishop Wendelin J. Nold.

After receiving his Doctorate in Canon Law from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., in 1957, Fr. Bill was assigned to the Marriage Tribunal in Houston, Texas.Fr. Bill was among other priests from this area who joined the famous civil rights march from Selma, Alabama in 1965. He felt the call to be a missionary in 1967, and went to Guatemala, where he founded two parishes, a medical clinic, and a dental clinic. After his return to Houston, Fr. Bill served as Pastor of St. Benedict’s for twelve years, Vice Rector and Formation Director of St. Mary’s Seminary for six years, and Pastor of St. Francis de Sales for ten years. Fr. Bill assisted at St. Theresa’s in Memorial Park before retiring to St. Dominic’s Village in May, 2008.

Fr. Bill celebrated his 50th anniversary as a priest on May 29, 2004, with a joyful fiesta and Mass with many brother priests. He has been the Director of Pre-Cana, the Cursillo, the Diocesan Services Fund, and served as Chairman of the Priests Senate, Priests Personnel Board, as well as Episcopal Vicar. In 2000, the community park across from St. Francis de Sales was named in his honor.

Fr. Bill is survived by his brother, Dr. Robert F. Pickard of Port Arthur, and several nieces and nephews.The family thanks his caregivers, Mima Chavez and Irma Garcia, for their loving attention and care, and the staff of Station 3 at St. Dominic’s nursing home.

Fr. Bill will lie in-state beginning at 6:00 p.m., with a Vigil for the Deceased at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 1, at the Warren Chapel of St. Dominic Village, 2401 Holcombe Blvd, in Houston, Texas.A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, September 2, at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 6622 Haskell Street, followed by a reception in the Fellowship Hall. The Rite of Committal will conclude in the Garden of Gethsemane of Forest Park Lawndale cemetery.For those desiring, donations in Fr. Bill’s memory may be sent to Cristo Rey Jesuit, 6700 Mt. Carmel, Houston, Texas 77087.