The sixth bishop of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, the Rt. Rev. Andrew Frederick Wissemann, died peacefully at home early this morning. Bishop Wissemann served the people of this diocese with clarity of purpose and compassion during his eight-year episcopate. “A soft-spoken, self-effacing, scholarly man whose genuineness and sympathy were immediately apparent to all, he was, by gift and temperament, more inclined toward the pastoral model of a bishop than the lordly,” wrote diocesan historian Richard Nunley. Raised up by the Church in Western Massachusetts for leadership in 1983, Bishop Wissemann had been the beloved rector of St. Stephen’s in Pittsfield for sixteen years. His pastoral care extended to both St. Martin’s in Pittsfield and St. Luke’s, Lanesboro. Prior to that he served as rector of St. James, Greenfield and vicar of St. Andrew’s, Turners Falls from 1960-1968 following seven years of service to churches in the Diocese of Connecticut.
The life of any bishop cannot be adequately measured by a list of achievements, though Bishop Wissemann had many. The only measure is the standard of the Gospel and Bishop Wissemann proclaimed the Good News in word, in deed and in the example of Christian family life. Our hearts go out to Andrew’s wife, Nancy, who has been partner to his mission and ministry for 61 years, to his son, his three daughters, and his five grandchildren. It was my privilege to enter the sacred space of his dying last night to pray with him and his family in their vigil of hope and faith.
The family has made the following arrangements. Please join us – in person or in prayer – as we celebrate the life and resurrection of our brother, Andrew.
Calling Hours: Christ Church Cathedral, Springfield