Father M. Gerald Gordon T.O.R.
June 17, 1941 - Nov. 10, 2017
Father M. Gerald Gordon of the Third Order Regular Franciscans of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Loretto, died Friday at Garvey Manor Nursing Home, Hollidaysburg, after an extended illness. He was a member of the community of St. Francis Friary, Mount Assisi, Loretto.
He was born in Philadelphia, son of the late Michael F. and Anna Maria (O’Keefe) Gordon.
Surviving are two brothers: Richard M. and John F., both of Philadelphia; and two sisters: Eileen Behm and Nancy Campbell, both of Philadelphia; and numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
Father Gerald graduated from Nativity BVM Catholic School in Port Richmond, Philadelphia, and he was a graduate of St. Joseph Prep., Philadelphia. After high school, he attended Providence College, Providence, R.I., for three years.
He became a postulant in the T.O.R. community in September 1962, when he entered Mount 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 “Brother Kieran.” On July 1, 1965, he professed his first vows at Sacred Heart Friary, Winchester, Va., and he professed his solemn vows at Immaculate Conception Chapel, Loretto, on July 1, 1968.
In May 1964, he received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Saint Francis College, and he completed his studies in theology at St. Francis Seminary, Loretto, in 1969. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 17, 1969, at Immaculate Conception Chapel, Loretto, by the Most Rev. James J. Hogan, DD, bishop of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.
Father Gerald attended summer school at Villanova University and studied history. In 1975, he received a Master of Arts degree in Franciscan studies from Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaven-ture, N.Y. He was the first T.O.R. friar to receive this degree.
During his long and very faithful Franciscan life, Father 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 Saint Francis University, Loretto and Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. 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, Fla. In parish work, he ministered at the following churches: Immaculate Conception Church, Jenkintown, St. Paul Church, Wilmington, Del., St. Gabriel Church, Marlboro, N.J., St. Stephen Church, Ona, W.Va., St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, Baltimore, Md., Sacred Heart Church, Bradenton, Fla., St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Fort Worth, Texas, and St. Andrew Church, Fort Worth, Texas. For the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Father Gerald served as director of vocations, director of T.O.R. missions and instructor in Franciscan for T.O.R. novices.
Surely, Father Gerald was an outstanding itinerant. He was widely sought to lead retreats to sisters’ communities throughout the country and was a well respected spiritual director. Due to poor health, Father Gerald returned to the motherhouse in Loretto, where he served in the ministry of prayer in 2015.
Friends will be received from 4 until the 7 p.m. vigil service, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, at the Chapel of St. Francis Friary-Mount Assisi, Loretto. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, at St. Francis Friary-Mount Assisi, Loretto, the Rev. Richard L. Davis, T.O.R., Minister Provincial, as principal celebrant. Committal will be at Franciscan Friars’ Cemetery, on the campus of Saint Francis University. Arrangements are by Gibbons Funeral Home, 301 Church St., Gallitzin.
Memorial contributions may be made to support retired T.O.R. Friars, care of T.O.R. Retirement Fund, St. Francis Friary, P.O. Box 137, Loretto, PA 15940.