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Funeral arrangements set for beloved Beaumont native, retired Houston Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza

Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza graduated from St. Anthony High School on May 29, 1947. While there, he was student body president and football team captain.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Beaumont native Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza died Monday, September 19, 2022 at 91 years old.

Archbishop Fiorenza's funeral will be held on Thursday, September 29, 2022 at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart located at 111 St. Joseph Parkway in Houston. Other arrangement have also been made and are open to the public to pay their respects to the archbishop.

  • Tuesday, September 27, 2022
    • Solemn Reception of the Body - 7:00 p.m.
    • Visitation with Fiorenza Family Present - 7:15 - 9:00 p.m.
    • Rosary - 8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 28, 2022 
    • Lying in State - 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
    • Solemn Vigil Liturgy - 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 29, 2022 
    • Funeral Mass - 2:00 p.m.

There will also be a Rite of Committal following the mass, but that is private. 

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston posted on its website that Fiorenza was a "tireless social justice advocate" throughout his priesthood.

“Archbishop Fiorenza was known to be a champion of civil rights and a tireless worker in overcoming the presence of racism in our community," said Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston. "He was also known as a great promoter of genuine renewal in the Church, and in making the teachings of the Second Vatican Council known.”

The Catholic Diocese of Beaumont said in a Facebook post that Fiorenza is "remembered with great love by his many friends and relatives in our area."

Fiorenza was born January 25, 1931 in Beaumont. He was the son of immigrant Italian parents, Anthony and Grace Fiorenza. He was the second of four children. 

Archbishop Fiorenza graduated from St. Anthony High School on May 29, 1947. While there, he was student body president and football team captain, according to the Facebook post. 

He entered the seminary and was ordained in 1954 for the Diocese of Galveston. He served in three parishes in the Houston area before his appointment as chancellor of the Galveston-Houston diocese, which is the largest diocese in the state.

Credit: Catholic Diocese of Beaumont

Pope John Paul II appointed him the fourth bishop of the Diocese of San Angelo in September 1979.

Archbishop Fiorenza was named as the shepherd of Galveston-Houston Diocese in December 1984 and installed February 18, 1985. Pope Benedict XVI elevated the diocese to the status of archdiocese and naming Fiorenza archbishop, according to the post.

He retired as archbishop of Galveston-Houston in February 2006.

Archbishop Fiorenza  served as president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishop, which is now the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In 2018, he received the Spirit of Francis Award from Catholic Extension for his missionary work and spirit.

The Solemn Reception of the body, the Vigil Service and Funeral Mass will be livestreamed on the Archdiocesan website. Instead of flowers, those who would like to make a gift in honor of the memory of Archbishop Fiorenza can make it to several charities online that were close to the Archbishop.

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