Christendom College mourns the loss of Fr. Mark Pilon, former professor of theology and beloved member of the chaplaincy. Fr. Pilon was one of the spiritual fathers of Christendom in its earliest days, and continued to say Mass at Christendom until late in his life. He passed away from cancer on March 19, at the age of 74.
“Fr. Mark Pilon was a fine priest, deeply committed to serving Christ and His Church,” says college president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell. “Cathy and I first met him during our time in Spain at El Escorial many years ago. His service to Christendom College as an outstanding professor of moral theology and in his later years assisting the chaplaincy were a great blessing to our community. His homilies in particular manifested his deep faith and brilliance of mind. He will be greatly missed. May Our Lord now receive him into His loving embrace.”
Fr. Pilon first became connected with college founder Dr. Warren Carroll in the 1970s. Both were working for Triumph magazine at the time, and both delivered lectures at week-long “Family Institutes” that were held in Front Royal, Virginia, in the ‘70s, on the property that would later become Christendom College’s campus. Fr. Pilon became a part of Christendom’s faculty in 1987, teaching theology at the college until 1990. He later taught at Christendom’s graduate school, and was an associate chaplain at Christendom after his retirement in 2012.
Fr. Pilon, a native of Detroit, Michigan, did much in his life. Besides working at Triumph as its publisher and contributing editor until his graduation from seminary in 1975, Fr. Pilon also was only the second American to earn his license in sacred theology, summa cum laude, from the Pontifical Lateran University Instituto Giovanni Paolo II. He later earned his doctorate in systematic theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. He served as the parochial vicar of St. John the Baptist Church in Front Royal, and also as the pastor of St. Ambrose Church in Annandale, Virginia.
Fr. Pilon wrote countless articles and also authored books, including Understanding the Church from the Teaching of Lumen Gentium and Magnum Mysterium: The Dignity of Marriage and the Family.
Fr. Pilon is survived by a large and loving family, including his nephew, Stephen Pilon, who is the associate librarian at Christendom College.