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Rev. Michael E. Giglio

Deceased: 2019-10-24

Diocese: ORLANDO

ICTE Spring: 2012

Fr. Michael E. Giglio left this earth on October 24, 2019 to be with his eternal Father. Fr. Michael was very special to us. He will be truly missed by many. Please keep Fr. Michael and his family in your prayers. Fr. Michael may you rest in peace.

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.

In a 1994 article from the Florida Catholic, as a transitional deacon, he commented on those who influenced his discernment and vocation. “The Vincentian Fathers at St. John’s Prep and Niagara University had a great influence on me,” he said. “I’ve always had an interest in and a concern for people, and I’ve been conscious of following Jesus’ ministry. That’s what attracts me to the priesthood.”

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.

Father Giglio suggested prayer is the answer. “Pray,” he said. “Get a spiritual director” to assist the process more quickly and “participate in the celebration of Mass.” His favorite Bible passage was from Psalm 139: “You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand.”

Father Giglio is survived by his nephew, Michael Masellis.

Funeral Arrangements: Vigil: Tuesday, October 29, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., (Vigil Prayer Service will begin at 7:15 p.m.), St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 526 N. Park Avenue, Winter Park. Funeral Mass: Wednesday, October 30, 10:00 a.m., St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church. A reception will immediately follow the celebration of the Funeral Mass in the parish hall.  Interment: immediately following the celebration of the Funeral Mass, Priests’ Cemetery, San Pedro Spiritual Development Center, 2400 Dike Road, Winter Park.