Rev. William Francis Seli, S.M.

July 2, 1931 - January 11, 2018

07/02/1931 - 01/11/2018

Past Services

Sunday January 21, 2018
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Good Shepherd Nursing Home Chapel
159 Edgington Lane
Wheeling, WV 26003
Monday January 22, 2018
Mt. Calvary Cemetery-Wheeling
1685 National Road
Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 242-0460 | Directions
Monday January 22, 2018
10:00 am
Good Shepherd Nursing Home Chapel
159 Edgington Lane
Wheeling, WV 26003

Rev. William Francis Seli, S.M., 86, died January 11, 2018 at Good Shepherd Nursing Home, Wheeling, W.Va. after a brief illness.

Father Seli, born in Pittsburgh July 2, 1931, was the son of John G. Seli and Emma C. Bilovsky.

He is predeceased by his parents and two sisters, Anne Elizabeth Basl and Catherine DiPerna, and two brothers, Robert Seli and Msgr. John Seli.

Surviving are four sisters, Genevieve Amon, Sister Mary Catherine Seli S.C., Eleanor Hines, and Margaret Zohorsky; one brother, Fred Seli; many nieces and nephews; as well as his brothers of the Society if Mary.

Father Seli was ordained to Holy Priesthood February 2, 1958, in Washington, D.C. by Bishop Michael J. Keyes, S.M.

Father Seli came to the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in July 1974. He returned to serve in the diocese in 1983 and then again in 1996.

Father Seli served in teaching and administrative capacities at Marist School, Atlanta, Ga. And St. Peter Chanel High School in Bedford, Ohio. He held a Master’s Degree in American History from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. and Ohio State Certification in Guidance and Counseling from John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio. Father participated in theological and spiritual sabbaticals at the Institute for Continuing Theology Education in Rome, Italy, the Mill Hill Mission Institute in London, England and the Marist Studies program in LaNeyliere, France.

After fourteen years in the educational apostolate, Fr. Seli served twenty-seven years in parochial ministry: associate pastor, St. Michael’s, Wheeling, W.Va., pastor at the parishes of  Our Lady of the Assumption, Atlanta, Ga., Holy Rosary, Buckhannon, W.Va., St. Pious X, Bedford, Ohio, St. Joseph’s, Marietta, Ga., St. John the Evangelist, Summersville, W.Va., and Holy Family, Richwood, W.Va.

Father Seli retired in 2001 and resided with the local Marist Community at St. Vincent de Paul Church until 2011 and remained active in various pastoral ministries in a supportive way. He resided at the Good Shepherd Nursing Home in Wheeling, W.Va., since September 2013, receiving the care and support of the most loving and competent people of the Good Shepherd staff.

Visitation will be held at the Chapel of Good Shepherd Nursing Home, 159 Edgington Lane, Wheeling, on Sunday, January 21, 2018 from 4-7 pm with a vigil service at 6:30 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 10 am by Rev. William Rowland, S.M. of Atlanta, Ga. in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd. Burial will be at the Marist plot of Mount Calvary Cemetery, Wheeling.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are requested to the Marist Community Support Fund, Marist Center, 4408 8th Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017 or through

Online condolences may be expressed at

Notify of
13 Condolences
Inline Feedbacks
View all condolences
Leanne & John Seli
5 years ago

Father Bill, my husband’s uncle, married us April 23, 1983. Father Bill was a loving and good man. He will be missed by all of the Seli Family. We will always remember him with a smile and the good times we had with him at family reunions and weddings.

Mary Dolan
5 years ago

It was truly an honor to be in the presence of Father Seli. He made you feel like you were the most important person in the room when he spoke to you. His kind smile and gentle spirit were felt by so many. We had the honor and privilege to host Father Seli’s 50th Jubilee at St Vincent de Paul in Wheeling. He shared is many accomplishments and did it so humbly.
Father Seli was also a beautiful homilist. He made you feel like he was speaking directly to you even in a large church.
“Always preach the Gospel and when necessary use words. ” Father Seli lived this saying. It was not necessary for Father Seli to say anything as his presence was a calm reminder of the good in people. Love radiated from this man as light from the sun. His warmth melted hearts and made others just want to spend a few moments with him. It was an honor to know and spend a little bit of time with this kind and gentle soul. Rest in Peace Faithful Servant. Well done my Friend, well done.

Maureen Horgan Shumard
5 years ago

I met Fr. Seli when he was the pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption. He was so kind and had that warm smile that could melt butter. God bless and comfort his family and his fellow priests as the Lord welcomes him into paradise.

Sal Rongo
5 years ago

Fr. Selina was a wonderful, caring priest and pastor at St Joseph Church in Marietta GA. Know that you have a lot of people praying for the repose of your soul.

Milton Campbell
5 years ago

Sorry for your loss. It is through the privilege of prayer, that a bereaved family can experience God’s love and comfort in the most intimate way. May you all find comfort as you pour out your hearts in prayer, to “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our trials.” 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4.

Jeff Molnar
5 years ago

Fr. Seli was a good man, a servant of God and a great friend. My family and I will miss him dearly. May God rest his soul and grant him eternal peace.

Bernadette Phillips Armony
5 years ago

Father Seli was a good Shepherd who cared deeply for the St. Joseph’s Parish congregation and a tremendous blessing to me. His pastoral care and approachable demeanor was very comforting and I am most thankful for his listening ears and encouraging words. Through his life and his ministry he showed us Christ’s love, the Father’s mercy, and the Spirit’s joy. Rest in peace Fr. Seli in the loving arms of Christ Jesus. Deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to the entire family!

Ronnie Tresham
5 years ago

I had the honor to work for this kind man at Saint Joseph ‘s Church in Marietta, GA. His wonderful sense of humor made for a pleasant work atmosphere each day. Fr. Seli truly loved and cared for his flock. The example he set inspired my husband and I to become more involved in outreach ministry .

Pattie Scotto
5 years ago

I met Father Seli at Saint Joseph’s in Marietta, Georgia..A wonderful priest who made me laugh..I liked his sense of humor. I do regret giving him a hard time of going to Christ Renew His Parish, as I was so busy with the Separated and Divorce ministry and life in general. He would year after year ask me to go . Finally I attended and He was so right and I was involved for over four years as it was rebuilding. I will miss him and his Holiday Cards and notes. He is now at peace with the Lord. Pattie Scotto

Kathy Benson
5 years ago

When Father Seli came to St. Joseph’s Church in 1994, he asked me help reactivate the Women’s group which had been dormant for many years. Who could say, “No,” to such a kind pastor? Thanks to his initiative, and dedicated leaders, our Women’s group grew into a wonderful ministry. I always think of him when I attend our Annual Women’s Retreat. God bless him for seeing the need for a ministry for the ladies of the parish; and God bless him for just being him.