Former Friars leader to visit for devotions
SHAMOKIN - The Rev. Joachim Anthony Giermek, former minister general of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, will serve as the guest speaker at 40-hour devotions Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at Mother Cabrini Church.
The devotions will begin after the 11 a.m. Mass Sunday. Giermek will preach to the congregation at 7 p.m. services Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The Rev. Martin Kobos, pastor of Mother Cabrini Church, and the Rev. Adam Ziolkowski, parochial vicar, also will participate.
The 69-year-old friar, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., entered the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor Conventual (which was founded by St. Francis of Assisi in 1209) at Ellicott City, Md., in 1960.
Following liberal arts studies in Massachusetts and presbyterial ordination in Rome Dec. 23, 1969, he returned to the United States in 1970 to pursue graduate studies in philosophy at Georgetown University and Franciscan spirituality at St. Bonaventure University.
After years as a university professor and director of continuing formation, he was recalled to Rome in 1983 to represent the order's North American and English/Irish Conference.
In 2001, Giermek was elected the 118th successor of St. Francis with the title of minister general (superior general) of the order's 4,500 members, which is spread throughout 77 countries.
He traveled extensively in his role as the leader of his order. During his time in Rome as minister general, Giermek developed a relationship with Pope John Paul II.
Giermek returned to the United States in July 2007.
Following a one-year sabbatical, he began assisting regularly at the Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City, Md., and the parish of St. Francis of Assisi, Fulton, Md., where the Rev. Dennis Diehl serves as pastor.
Since September 2010, he also has provided ministerial assistance at the parish of St. Louis, Clarksville, Md., where the Msgr. Joseph Luca is the pastor.