EL PASO, Texas – After a short battle with lung cancer, Father Edward G. Pfnausch passed to his eternal reward on Jan. 11, 2013.
He was born on May 13, 1942, in New Haven, a son of the late Edward G. Pfnausch and the late Lillian Mary Lynch. He entered St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield in 1960 and continued his studies at St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester, N.Y. He was ordained by Bishop Joseph P. Donnelly on May 23, 1968, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford.
After serving as assistant pastor at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in West Hartford, Father Pfnausch was assigned to pursue graduate studies in canon law at the Gregorian University in Rome. He completed his initial degree in 1973 and returned to the Hartford Chancery, where he served as defender of the bond and judge in the marriage tribunal.
During those years, he was surrounded and inspired by internationally known canonists who encouraged him to become involved in the process of the revision of the Code of Canon Law. Following the vision of Pope Paul VI, canonists around the world were reformulating the 1981 Code of Law to bring it into conformity with the Second Vatican Council.
Father Pfnausch thus began a 25-year membership in the Canon Law Society of America, including a year as its president in 1982 and service on various committees. In 1986, he was appointed as its first full-time executive coordinator at its national office at the The Catholic University of America in Washington. While there, Father Pfnausch earned his doctorate in canon law in 1994; he then was an assistant professor of Church law at the university.
Father Pfnausch was appointed parochial vicar at Most Holy Trinity Parish in 2000. He then was administrator and pastor of St. Mary the Immaculate Conception Parish in Derby beginning in 2002. He was appointed pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in North Haven in 2006. Because of his deteriorating health, Father Pfnausch began a medical leave of absence in 2010 and retired to El Paso in 2011.
Father Pfnausch is survived by two sisters, Barbara Coyle and. Deborah Ritchie; four nephews and three nieces.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church in El Paso on Jan, 15. Burial was private.
Memorial donations may be made to the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Building Fund, 12200 Vista del Sol, El Paso, Texas 79936.