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Funeral arrangements for Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Fiorenza

Fiorenza, who died Monday at 91, became the first archbishop of Galveston-Houston in 2004, an archdiocese that has more than 1.7 million Catholics in 146 parishes.

HOUSTON — The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston announced funeral arrangements Thursday for Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza, who died Monday at the age of 91.

The visitation and funeral mass will take place at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart at 1111 St. Joseph Parkway in downtown Houston next week. Archbishop Fiorenza will also lie in state at the church to allow the public to honor him.

He became the first archbishop of Galveston-Houston in 2004, an archdiocese that has more than 1.7 million Catholics in 146 parishes.

RELATED: Retired Houston Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza dies at 91

Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Fiorenza funeral 

Tuesday, September 27
Solemn Reception of the Body
7 p.m.
Visitation with Fiorenza Family Present
7:15 p.m. - 9 p.m.
8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 28
Lying in State
9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Solemn Vigil Liturgy
7 p.m.

Thursday, September 29
Funeral Mass
2 p.m.

Rite of Committal Following Mass - Private

The Solemn Reception of the Body, the Vigil Service and Funeral Mass will be streamed on the Archdiocesan website at www.archgh.org/live

Due to the space limitations of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart for the Funeral Mass, the archdiocese is encouraging the public to honor the Archbishop while he is lying in state throughout the day Wednesday or that evening at the Vigil Service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Archbishop Fiorenza's memory to the C.R.O.S.S. Academies Initiative and to Casa Juan Diego.

"Above all else, the Faithful of the Archdiocese and of the whole Church are invited to pray for the repose of the soul of Archbishop Fiorenza, and for the consolation of his family and many friends in this time of grief," the archdiocese said in a statement. 

Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza's background

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. 

"Together, with Rev. Bill Lawson and Rabbi Samuel Karff, Archbishop Fiorenza worked tirelessly across faiths to advance equality and fight injustice wherever it was found," Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis said. "He was a dear friend, a true civil rights leader, and a person who will be deeply missed by all who knew him.”

The Houston Dioceses sent an email to its employees Monday saying:

"Dear Brother Priests,

"It is with deep sorrow that I inform you that after his more than 68 years as a priest and 21 years as bishop and archbishop of our Archdioceses, Archbishop Fiorenza was called home to the Lord this morning.

"Though born in Beaumont, Archbishop Fiorenza was a Houstonian through and through, as he worked tirelessly for the good of the local Church of Galveston-Houston. In these last months of his life, Archbishop Fiorenza suffered as his health began to decline."

More on Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Anthony Fiorenza

Source: The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston 

Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Anthony Fiorenza was born Jan. 25, 1931, in Beaumont, Texas. The son of immigrant Italian parents, he was the second of four children born to Anthony and Grace Fiorenza.

Archbishop Fiorenza graduated from St. Anthony High School in Beaumont on May 29, 1947. He began studies for the priesthood in 1947 and was ordained a priest for the then-Diocese of Galveston-Houston on May 29, 1954.

Following ordination, he served as an assistant pastor in Houston for three years, and then became the professor of medical ethics at Dominican College and chaplain of St. Joseph Hospital in Houston. From 1959 to 1967, he was the administrator of Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral. He was pastor of several churches from 1967 to 1973 when he was named chancellor of Galveston-Houston.

St. Pope John Paul II named him the Bishop of San Angelo on Sept. 4, 1979, and he served in that West Texas diocese until 1985 when he was named the Bishop of Galveston-Houston, an archdiocese that has more than 1.7 million Catholics in 146 parishes across 10 counties. He became Galveston-Houston's first Archbishop on Dec. 29, 2004.

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