The Rev. Peter A. Minelli

MARQUETTE, MI – Rev. Peter A. Minelli, 80, a senior priest of the Diocese of Marquette, passed away Thursday morning, November 30, 2017 at Marquette County Medical Care Facility in Ishpeming.

Father Minelli was born on August 6, 1937 in New Swanzy, MI, one of two sons born to the late Anthony “Cogo” and Irene (Baratono) Minelli. He was ordained a priest on June 1, 1963, by Bishop Thomas Noa at St. Peter Cathedral. Following ordination, Father Minelli began his ministry with a seminary teaching assignment.

In June, 1968, Fr. Minelli was appointed Associate Pastor at Sacred Heart, Munising. In July, 1969, he was granted a leave of absence to accept a teaching position with the Sulpician Fathers at St. Thomas College in Kenmore, WA. In September, 1970, he transferred to St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, MD, where he continued to teach until 1972. In July, 1972, he was appointed Co-Pastor of St. Rita, Trenary, and St. Therese, AuTrain. In the mid-1970s, he served the diocese in many capacities including Co-Chairman of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, Diocesan Master of Ceremonies, Spiritual Moderator for the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, Deacon Moderator, Diocesan Consultor and Coordinator for the Diocesan Coordination for the 1976 Eucharistic Congress.

In May, 1978, he was appointed Vicar for Worship & Ministry, Co-Chancellor and Vicar General for the diocese. In November, 1978, he joined the Center for Human Development at Notre Dame University as a member of the teaching staff, as well as Advisory Board Member. In October, 1981, he was appointed Vicar for Parish Development and served as Chaplain at the Marquette Branch Prison. In July, 1982, Fr. Minelli was appointed Pastor of St. Gregory, Newberry. In January, 1986, he was appointed Associate Director of the Permanent Diaconate Program for the diocese. In July, 1986, Fr. Minelli was appointed as Diocesan Director of the Permanent Diaconate Program and Pastor, St. Anne, Escanaba, where he continued to serve until July, 1998. In July, 1998, he was appointed Pastor, St. Francis de Sales, Manistique where he remained until he was granted senior priest status (retirement) in July, 2002.

Father Minelli is survived by one brother, Joseph (Jacalyn) Minelli of Gwinn; nephews, David (Vicki) and Mark (Kathleen) Minelli; great nephew, James Minelli and great niece, Grace Minelli; step nieces, Breann (Neal) VanderWall and Lauren (Rocky) Roberts; step-great nephews, Jack and Liam VanderWall; step-great nieces, Emily VanderWall and Ruby Roberts; also an aunt, Ruby Minelli and several cousins.

The Minelli family will greet relatives and friends at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Gwinn on Tuesday, December 5th from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the church at 1 p.m. with the Most Rev. John F. Doerfler, Bishop of Marquette officiating and concelebrated by priests of the Diocese of Marquette. Members of Bishop Baraga the Snowshoe Priest Assembly Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus will act as honor guard with Father Minelli’s brother priests acting as pallbearers. A luncheon will be served in the parish hall immediately following the mass with burial will take place in the Gwinn Cemetery in the spring of 2018.

Those wishing to make an expression of sympathy are kindly asked to consider the St. Anthony Catholic Church Endowment Fund, 280 N. Boulder St., Gwinn, MI 49841 or the Gwinn Merry Mixers, PO Box 668, Gwinn, MI 49841 in Fr. Minelli’s memory.

The Minelli family would like to express their gratitude for the kind and caring nursing staff at the Marquette County Medical Care Facility.

The Canale Gwinn Funeral Home is assisting the Minelli family where memories may be shared at