+ Joachim Giermek embraced by Sister Death

Fr. Joachim (Thomas) Anthony Giermek, OFM Conv., 80, a Franciscan Friar of Our Lady of the Angels Province, died peacefully on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024 at Ellicott City, Md. Born in Buffalo, N.Y. on April 2, 1943, he was a son of the late Joseph and Mary (nee Kowalczyk) Giermek. He is predeceased by his sister, Anne Holmes, and brother Stanley.

After graduating from Bishop Ryan High School in Buffalo, he entered the Novitiate of the Conventual Franciscans in Ellicott City, Md., professing simple vows on Aug. 15, 1961. Amidst completion of a B.A. in Philosophy at St. Hyacinth College in Granby, Mass., he professed solemn vows on August 15, 1964. After finishing a teaching year at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore, he went to Rome, where he studied at the Pontifical Academy of St. Bonaventure (“the Seraphicum”). He was ordained in the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles on Dec. 23, 1969.

From 1970-76, Friar Joachim served as Professor of Philosophy and then Associate Director of Clerics at St. Hyacinth Seminary, Granby. He then earned his M.A. in Franciscan Spirituality from St. Bonaventure University in Olean N.Y., a degree he used both as an instructor at St. Bonaventure and for a successful Franciscan retreat ministry.

In 1982, he was elected Secretary and Regent of Studies of the then Saint Anthony of Padua Province. In 1983, he was elected the Assistant General of the Conventual Franciscan Order, representing the friars from the English-speaking jurisdictions. He served in that capacity until 1995, when he was elected Vicar General. In 2001, Fr. Joachim was elected the 118th successor of St. Francis of Assisi, becoming the third friar from the United States to serve as Minister General of the Order.

Returning home from Rome in 2007, Fr. Joachim moved to Ellicott City, Maryland, where he was assigned until his death.

Viewing and Wake:
Friday, Jan. 12, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Franciscan Wake Service, 7 p.m.
Shrine of Saint Anthony
12290 Folly Quarter Rd.
Ellicott City, Md.

Mass of Christian Burial:
Saturday, Jan. 13, 9:30 a.m.
Shrine of Saint Anthony

May God grant Friar Joachim eternal life in His presence.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Franciscan Education Fund, 12290 Folly Quarter Rd., Ellicott City, MD  21042.

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