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Fr. M. Gerald's Story

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of the Third Order Regular Franciscans of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Loretto died November 10, 2017, at Garvey Manor, Hollidaysburg after an extended illness. He was a member of the community of St. Francis Friary-Mt. Assisi, Loretto. He was born June 17, 1941, in Philadelphia son of the late Michael F. and Anna Maria (OKeefe) Gordon. He graduated from Nativity B.V.M. Grade School, Port Richmond, Philadelphia, and graduated from St. Joseph Prep, Philadelphia. After high school graduation, he attended Providence College, Providence, RI, for three years. Fr. Gerald became a postulant in the T.O.R. community in September 1962, when he entered Mt. Assisi Friary, Loretto. On June 30, 1964, he entered the novitiate at Sacred Heart Friary, Winchester, VA. As a novice, he received the religious name, Bro. Kieran. Fr. Gerald professed his first vows on July 1, 1965, at Sacred Heart Friary, Winchester, VA., and professed his solemn vows at Immaculate Conception Chapel, Loretto on July 1, 1968. In May 1964, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy degree from St. Francis College, and completed his studies in Theology at St. Francis Seminary, Loretto, PA, in 1969, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 17, 1969, at the Immaculate Conception Chapel, Loretto by the Most Reverend James J. Hogan, DD, Bishop of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese. Fr. Gerald attended summer school at Villanova University and studied history. In 1975, Fr. Gerald received a Master of Arts degree in Franciscan Studies from the Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, NY. He was the first TOR friar to receive this degree. During his long and very faithful Franciscan life, Fr. Gerald was truly a follower of the Poverello, St. Francis of Assisi. He ministered in most of the works of the province. In high school work, he taught at Bishop Egan High School, Fairless Hills and at St. Francis Prep School, Spring Grove. In college work he ministered at St. Francis University, Loretto and Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH. In retreat ministry, he was Director of the Franciscan Center, White Post, VA, St. Francis Retreat Center, Easton, and San Pedro Retreat Center, Winter Park, FL. In parish work, he ministered at the following: Immaculate Conception Church, Jenkintown, St Paul Church, Wilmington, DE, St. Gabriel Church, Marlboro, NJ, St. Stephen Church, Ona, WV, St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, Baltimore, MD, Sacred Heart Church, Bradenton, FL, St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Fort Worth, TX, St. Andrew Church, Fort Worth, TX. For the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Fr. Gerald served as Director of Vocations; Director of T.O.R. Missions; and Instructor in Franciscan for T.O.R. novices. Surely, Fr. Gerald was an outstanding itinerant. He was widely sought to give retreats to sisters communities throughout the country, and was a well-respected spiritual director. Because of poor health, Fr. Gerald returned to the motherhouse in Loretto where he served in the ministry of prayer in 2015. He is survived by his brothers, Richard M., John F., and his sisters Eileen Behm and Nancy Campbell, all of Philadelphia, and numerous nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Friends will be received at the Chapel of St. Francis Friary-Mt. Assisi, Loretto at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Vigil Service will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be concelebrated on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at St. Francis Friary-Mt. Assisi, Loretto with Very Rev. Richard L. Davis, T.O.R., Minister Provincial, as principal celebrant. Following the Mass, committal will take place at the Franciscan Friars Cemetery, on the campus of St. Francis University. Memorial contributions may be made to support retired T.O.R. Friars, c/o T.O.R. Retirement Fund, St. Francis Friary, P.O. Box 137, Loretto, PA 15940. Arrangements by Gibbons Funeral Home, 301 Church Street, Gallitzin, PA 16641. gibbonsfunerals.com
Published on November 13, 2017
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