STAMFORD—Rev. Canon Albert W. Watts, a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport for over 60 years, passed away on Friday morning May 1 in Stamford Hospital. He was 88 years old.
His death follows the loss of his brother, Msgr. Roger Watts who passed away on April 22, at the age of 91. Both men, known to many as the “Brother Priests,” were ordained on the same day, June 5, 1959, in St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport by the Most Rev. Lawrence Joseph Shehan, first Bishop of Bridgeport.
“Father Albert Watts had a great love for the Church, his fellow priests, and his beloved brother, Msgr. Roger Watts, with whom he shared his priestly ministry. They continued to work joyfully and faithfully throughout their retirement to serve the People of God in our diocese. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Canon Watts and for the consolation of his family,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.
Writing about the gift of a vocation in 2014, Father Albert Watts recalled the day when he and his brother, Roger, were ordained to the priesthood. “It is like yesterday that Bishop Lawrence J. Shehan (later Cardinal) laid hands on us during ordination 55 years ago as we lay side by side on the sanctuary floor while our parents in the front pew watched and listened as the choir prayed the Litany of Saints. There are some families that are blessed with God having called two brothers to the priesthood. But it seems we were especially blessed because we were called and ordained as priests together on the very same day, June 5, 1959, at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport.
“Even at our age, we know God will bless whatever we give, and we believe we will then have even more left over to give, even to the next generation of priests to come. The message we give is that from the first moment of our ordination we have opened ourselves totally to him who was saying, “Follow me.” And we have never lost anything by following. Do not be afraid of what Christ asks; he takes nothing away and he gives every-thing because the reality is that when we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return.”
Father Albert Watts was appointed Defender of the Bond in the Diocesan Tribunal in 1989 and Pro-Synodal Judge in 1981.
Among his assignments in Diocesan parishes, Father Watts served as pastor of St. Ambrose Parish, Bridgeport from 1977 to 1980, and served as parochial vicar at St. Augustine Cathedral Parish, Bridgeport; St. Cecilia Parish, Stamford; and St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, East Norwalk. His out-of-state assignments include appointments as parochial vicar in Queen of Peace Mission, Lakeland, GA, and St. William’s Parish, Tewksbury, MA.
A native of Fall River, MA, he studied at Our Lady of Hope Seminary, Newburgh, N.Y.; the oblate College in Washington, D.C.; and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.