Rev. Abraham L. Esper, age 69, passed away on Friday, February 12, 2021, at Abraham House of Rome. He was born in Utica, NY, on September 10, 1951, the oldest son of Louis and Helen Lewis Esper.
Father Esper was ordained to the Priesthood on June 8, 1985. He was an associate at St. Catherine’s in Binghamton and Our Lady of Lourdes, Utica. Fr. Abe was the pastor of St. Stephen’s, Oriskany; St. Paul’s and St. Anne’s, Whitesboro; St. Augustine’s and St. Mary’s, Baldwinsville; and St. Anthony/ St. Patrick’s, Chadwicks. Upon retirement Fr. Abe resided at St. John the Baptist Church, Rome and spent time assisting his brother priests at parishes throughout the Diocese.
In 2020, Fr. Abe felt God calling him out of retirement to do more and he was appointed administrator of St. Mary’s, Clinton, as well as celebrating weekend Mass at St. Anthony/ St. Patrick’s in Chadwicks.
Fr. Abe leaves a niece, Erica, of Albany, as well as cousins; Tony (Josie) Esper, Carmen Esper, Joan Freeman and Ann Lewis. Fr. Abe was predeceased by his parents and his younger brothers; Louis in 2016 and Jeffrey in 2020. Fr. Abe and his brothers lost their mother at an early age, which left them with a deep void. He also leaves behind his beloved dog, Riley.
At each parish, Fr. Abe made lifelong friends that he considered family. Fr. Abe was proud of his Lebanese heritage and enjoyed eating all of the Middle East delights. To all those who sent well wishes, cards, flowers, my favorite goodies and other presents these past few months; from the bottom of my heart, thank you. To all those who called and left messages of love and support, God bless you all. I have been overwhelmed by your love.
Vigil for a deceased Priest will be on Thursday, February 18, 2021, at 7:00 p.m., at St. John the Baptist Church, 210 E. Dominick St., Rome. A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday, February 19, 2021, at 12:00 noon, at St. John the Baptist Church, celebrated by Bishop Douglas J. Lucia. Spring Burial will be in Kirkland Cemetery, Kirkland. Friends may call on Thursday, February 18, 2021, at the Nicholas J. Bush Funeral Home, Inc., 7751 Merrick Rd., Rome, from 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Anyone wishing to attend is required to wear a mask and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
The Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m., Thursday at St. John the Baptist Church and the Mass of Christian Burial at 12:00 noon on Friday will be live streamed at:
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be in Fr. Abe’s name to: St. John the Baptist Church Endowment Fund, 210 E., Dominick St., Rome, NY 13440 or Abraham House of Rome, 417 N. Washington St., Rome, NY 13440.
To offer online condolences, please visit www.njbushfuneralhome.com