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Fr. Al Gietzen has passed away
Reverend Albin Joseph Gietzen entered eternal life on September 7, 2017 at the age of 93. He was born on June 5, 1924, in Kingsley, Michigan to Joseph and Veronica (Hansen) Gietzen. He attended Tompkins School, Bartlett School, Hanover Township Agricultural School, Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth. He received a bachelor of arts from Sacred Heart Seminary and a master of arts from the University of Michigan. He was ordained on June 2, 1956 at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit by His Eminence Edward Cardinal Mooney.
Following his ordination, Father Gietzen joined the Sulpicians and taught speech in two of their seminaries in Maryland. He came to the Diocese of Gaylord in 1977 and served as Associate Pastor for St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord and the Mission of Holy Redeemer in Vanderbilt. In 1978 he was appointed Ordinary Confessor for the Sisters at the Sacramentine Monastery in Conway. He was named Administrator for St. Stephen Parish in Lake City, the Mission of St. Rita in McBain and the Mission of St. Theresa in Manton in 1980, and also served as Ordinary Confessor for the Sisters of Mercy at Mercy Hospital in Cadillac, and Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus. He was incardinated into the Diocese of Gaylord on January 20, 1982 and began a three year term on the Board of Advisors of the Department of Worship. In 1985 he was appointed as Pastor for Holy Rosary Parish in Cedar and St. Rita-St. Joseph Parish in Maple City. He became the Diocesan Liaison to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal on July 14, 1988. He was appointed as Pastor for St. Mary Parish in Hannah on June 30, 1993 and remained there until he retired to Senior Priest Status in August 2001.
Father Al was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings Rita Colerus, Rosalene Renauer, Mary Snell, Magdalene O’Hara and Gerard Gietzen. He was loved by 13 nieces and nephews and many great-nieces and great-nephews.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, September 10 from 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Covell Funeral Home, 232 E. State Street, Traverse City, Michigan, with a vigil service at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue on Monday, September 11 at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1025 S. Union Street, Traverse City at 10:00 a.m. until the time of the Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m., which will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Steven J. Raica, Bishop of Gaylord.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Mary Parish in Hannah (Kingsley), Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, or the seminarian fund for the Diocese of Gaylord.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him;
may all the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.