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Missionhurst Fr. Giordano dies

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Missionhurst Father Joseph Giordano died Nov. 29 at age 78 following a brief illness.

Father Giordano lived in Missionhurst’s Dominion House retirement home in Arlington. He retired in 2019 after serving as rector for six years at Missionhurst in Arlington.

After his retirement, he remained active in the community, including serving as chaplain of the Arlington Knights of Columbus Council, working with the hospital ministry of St. Ann Church in Arlington and celebrating Mass at retirement centers.

“Father Joe served the Lord with a steadfast heart as a missionary and priest of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for 49 years,” said Fr. Celso Acabado Tabalanza, Missionhurst provincial superior. “Father Joe internalized the Blessed Mother's word, "Behold the servant of the Lord, may it be done to me according to your Word" as he accepted wholeheartedly his missionary assignments. He took seriously his obligation to do God's will, and not his.

“He was a great uncle, a very good friend, a holy priest and missionary of Christ. He will be greatly missed by the Missionhurst community,” he said.

Father Giordano was born April 4, 1943, in Brooklyn, N.Y.

He spent two years at New York City Community College before entering the Missionhurst novitiate in Arlington in 1964. He graduated from St. Paul’s College in Washington and was ordained a priest May 27, 1972, at Holy Spirit Church in Annandale. He was assigned to the Dominican Republic in 1973 where he worked for seven years. He spent time at the Missionhurst House of Theology in Mexico before returning to the Dominican Republic.

He served in Mexico City for two years before returning to the United States. After a sabbatical program in San Antonio, Texas, in 1981, and a brief assignment in a parish, he returned to Arlington to be the director of development at Missionhurst. He served in that assignment for five years before being appointed as provincial superior of the U.S. province in 1988. 

After a six-year term as provincial, he followed a sabbatical program in Glens Falls, N.Y. Following the program, he returned to his home in Brooklyn, to help care for his aging mother. At the same time, he served as an associate at St. Ephrem Church in Brooklyn.

After his mother died in 1998, he returned to Missionhurst as rector and provincial treasurer, also serving in the development office. 

Viewing will be at St. Ann Church, 5300 10th St., N., Arlington, Dec. 2, 3-5 p.m., and 6-8 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be offered Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. at St. Ann Church.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021