Remembering Fr. Michael Giglio

Fr Michael GiglioOBITUARY
Father Michael Giglio
July 26, 1936 – October 24, 2019

Father Michael Giglio was born on July 26, 1936 in Brooklyn, NY to Caesar and Eileen (nee Guzzi).  He received his undergraduate degree from Niagara University and studied at Niagara University, St. John University, St. Michael College.  He studied theology at Pope John XXIII National Seminary.  He was credentialed with a Masters in Art, Masters of Science in Education, Masters of Art in Teaching, and Masters of Divinity.

Growing up, he attended St. Catharine of Alexandria, where the seed for priesthood was planted. He had served as a member of the parish council, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, lector and religious education teacher.  He spent much of his free time reading spiritual books and listening to classical music. He likened himself to his hero, St. Michael. “For obvious reasons,” he said, as St. Michael is his namesake, “but also for St. Michael’s unwavering courage in the face of doubt and as one who ‘defends us in battle.’”

For 30 years, Fr. Michael instructed children in the classroom, teaching everything from Latin to Shakespeare. While teaching and earning his master’s degree in English, the ministry of teaching and his participation in parish life had a profound influence on his eventual decision to follow his dreams of entering the seminary. “The thought (of priesthood) was always with me,” he said. “But I didn’t act on it. I was very involved in my work as an English teacher.”

The realization of retirement from teaching made him examine his purpose and how to utilize his spare time to help others. He went to Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts, where older seminarians go to prepare for Ordination.

Ordained at 55 on May 28, 1994, Father Giglio had been consistent in his passion for helping others. As a diocesan priest, Father Giglio was pastor of three parishes — St. Anthony in Lakeland, St. Teresa in Titusville and Epiphany in Port Orange — he also assisted at several others, including his first assignment of Holy Family in Orlando. Up until the day of his death, he continued in his vocation to the priesthood as best as possible, helping out at various parishes throughout the diocese, including St. Ann Parish in DeBary and St. Margaret Mary Parish in Winter Park.

Father Giglio was a great advocate of the priesthood.  He considered himself blessed to have been asked to preside at marriages of the young adults from his Holy Family Parish youth group in Orlando, and even baptized several of their children. It was a way to stay connected with this community of faith.  At his 25th jubilee, Father Giglio said, “The big reason is to serve people, to help people no matter what the circumstances.”  Gathering at dinner on the evening before his death during Alumni Days at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary, Father Giglio celebrated his priesthood and those present gave him a standing ovation.