Giuseppe Giorgis, example for Salesians of Holy land
NAZARETH– Fr Giuseppe Giorgis, Salesian, died on 3 March 2015 in Nazareth at the age of 79 years. He was ill for some time, and led an almost normal style of life. His sudden and quiet death, in the community, after dinner, was a surprise for everybody and raised big emotion, especially with youngsters who loved and respected him.
Giuseppe Giorgis was born in Sam Benigno di Cuneo (Piedmont) in 1936. He went to school in Mirabello where he was seduced by the figure of Don Bosco and his heart flowing to the Salesians. He made his religious profession in 1955, following studies in Philosophy in Aleppo and Husson (Lebanon) and practical pastoral training in Beirut. He later went to Cremisan (Beit Jala, Palestine) for studies in Theology between 1962 and 1966, the year he was ordained priest in Jerusalem by Patriarch Jacques J. Beltritti, originating from the same province of Cuneo. Talented for music and singing, he got a diploma in choir conducting and composition in Jerusalem in 1972.
As a Salesian Priest, he spent 14 years at a Bethlehem school as catechist, advisor, vicar and director. Between 1982 and 1985 he was appointed as school advisor in Nazareth; later in Al Husson (Lebanon), Zeitun (Egypt), Cremisan (2002-04) and Ratisbonne-Jerusalem (2004-2005) as director of Philosophy and Theology School. In 2005 he was appointed as Parish Priest in Istanbul, and in 2010 as advisor and director of Beit Jemal. In August 2014, physically weakened by a tumour, he got his last assignment in Nazareth where he enjoyed promoting singing and music.
He was described as an ideal brother; he was much attached to life of personal and community worshipping, exerting much of him to resolve some misunderstandings and difficulties.
Funeral took place on 6 February at the Church of Jesus the Adolescent in Nazareth presided by Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem, Mgr Michel Sabbah. On this sad occasion many hymns that were sung were composed by Fr Giorgis himself. Many nuns, instructors and teachers, secondary class students and faithful of Nazareth attended requiem mass for their beloved Abuna Yussef. Don Giorgis was buried at the Salesian Cemetery in Cremisan.
Text: our correspondent in Nazareth Photos : A.K