Father Charles A. Aho, a priest of the Diocese of Syracuse, passed away Aug. 29 at Loretto Health and Rehabilitation in Syracuse. He was 82.
Born in Union City, N.J., Fr. Aho was ordained a priest in May 1970 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse. His assignments included St. Patrick’s Church (Syracuse), Binghamton Catholic Central, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, St. Mary’s Church (Clinton), St. Matthew’s (East Syracuse), Sacred Heart (Cicero) and Most Holy Rosary (Syracuse). He additionally served at St. Michael’s (Fulton), St. Therese (Syracuse) and St. Francis (Lacona).
He retired from active service in March 2011. Celebrating his 40th Jubilee in 2010, the Catholic Sun reported: He said he got a great deal of satisfaction from his ministry, particularly in ministering to bereaved families. “The people are at their most sensitive when they’re suffering from a loss,” he said. Being able to pray with and for people at this time is one of the greatest gifts a priest can give, he said.
Father Aho said some of his most formative years were spent as a novice from 1957 to 1959 at the Trappist monastery in Geneseo. “I really did learn my best training in spirituality and liturgy from the Trappists,” he said. He attended Resurrection College in Kitchener, Ontario; Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, N.Y.; and St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester.
His appointments included serving as a teacher at Binghamton Catholic Central from 1972 to 1974 and as a chaplain at Christian Brothers Academy from 1977 to 1979. Father Aho served as a chaplain at Syracuse Developmental Center from 1994 to 1996, at the Dominican Monastery from 1996 to 1997 and at the Hillbrook Detention Center from 1997 to 1998. He also served as part-time chaplain at Iroquois Nursing Home. He also served about 10 years as the Catholic chaplain at the Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse.
Father Aho also celebrated Mass for retired nuns. “One of the things that I’m very happy about is the more frequent use of the talents of women in the parishes than was the case in my day,” he said.
Services were scheduled for Sept. 11 at St. Patrick’s in Syracuse with burial to follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Skaneateles.