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Missionhurst rector retires

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Missionhurst Father Joseph Giordano retired as rector after six years in the role at Missionhurst in Arlington July 1. Father Jean-Marie Mvumbi is the new rector.

Father Giordano was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1943 and spent two years at New York City Community College before coming to the Missionhurst novitiate in Arlington. 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, NY.  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 passed away in 1998, he returned to Missionhurst as rector and provincial treasurer, also serving in the development office. 

He resides in the Dominion House retirement home at Missionhurst.

“I am settling in right now,” he said. “There’s no major plan at this point of time.”

Father Giordano will remain active in the community. He is the chaplain of the Edward Douglass White Knights of Columbus Council in Arlington. He helps with the hospital ministry of St. Ann Church in Arlington and celebrates Mass at retirement centers.

Father Giordano said he is proud of his accomplishments as rector. “I’m proud I was able to provide hospitality for our men within the community, priest visitors and outside visitors who would come and stay with us,” he said.

Missionhurst Father Jean-Marie Mvumbi is a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo and is the eldest of two boys. He earned a bachelor’s in philosophy from Saint Augustine University (Université Saint Augustin) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, and earned a master of divinity from Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, in 2003. He was ordained in 2003 and served as associate priest at Sacred Heart Church in San Antonio.

Missionhurst Father Mvumbi has served as treasurer at Missionhurst since January 2016.  He is a member of the General Finance Committee that meets in Rome to oversee the congregation’s finances. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019