Rev. George Wichland

June 25, 1992

A Mass of Christian burial for the Rev. George Andrew Wichland, C.SS.R., whom many called East Baltimore's priest of the poor and homeless, will be offered at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Wenceslaus Roman Catholic Church, Ashland and Collington avenues.

Father Wichland, a Redemptorist priest for 60 years, 39 of them in Baltimore, died Tuesday at the Redemptorist Nursing Care Facility in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where he had been for two months ill with lymphatic cancer. He was 90.

He was born in Massachusetts, the son of Lithuanian immigrants who could not read or speak English. He attended school at St. Mary's Seminary in North East, Pa., and then entered the Redemptorist Seminary in Esopus N.Y., where he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1932.

After spending about four years as a priest in northern Paraguay, he was diagnosed as having tuberculosis. In 1937, he was told that he might not have long to live. He spent almost four years in bed rest in a cool climate -- the treatment for tuberculosis in those days -- at a facility in Gabriels, N.Y.

Thereafter, he resumed his career as a priest for about another half century. Years later, he would say of his extended bed rest: "God put me to bed and made me realize that he could get along without me, but that I needed him."

Father Wichland is survived by three sisters, Ann Atwell of Mansfield, Mass., Agnes Gambon of North Easton, Mass., and Elenore Creamer of Washington.

Memorial contributions can be made to Father Wichland's Food Center, St. Wenceslaus Church, 2111 Ashland Ave., Baltimore 21205.

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