Deacon Donald Germano; served diocese for 22 years - Catholic Courier

Deacon Donald Germano; served diocese for 22 years

Deacon Donald J. Germano, who served at St. Joseph Parish in Penfield for many years, died Aug. 29, 2023. He was 73.

A Rochester native, Deacon Germano worshipped as a child at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Rochester, where he also attended the parish school. He later belonged to Christ the King Parish in Irondequoit and studied at Christ the King School. He graduated from Bishop Kearney High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from St. Bonaventure University in Olean.

During his years at St. Bonaventure, Deacon Germano felt drawn to the priesthood but ultimately discerned he was being called toward marriage and family life, according to Mary Germano, his wife of 50 years. After graduating from college, he became a financial planner. His family belonged to St. Joseph Parish in Penfield, where he served as a catechist for two decades.

In the late 1990s, after much prayer and consideration, Deacon Germano discerned a calling to the permanent diaconate, inspired in part by the example of his brother-in-law, Deacon Thomas Kluchko, Mary Germano said.

Bishop Matthew H. Clark ordained Deacon Germano on June 9, 2001, at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester. After his ordination, he was assigned to minister at St. Joseph Parish, and he served there for nearly two decades. He loved connecting with people, especially through preaching or visiting hospitalized parishioners, Mary Germano recalled.

“He was very compassionate and really went out of his way to comfort people, to listen to them and listen to their stories and to give advice. That was his strong point,” she said. “He just loved hearing other people’s stories, and they would always get him laughing. He had a very distinctive laugh.”

Deacon Germano also was a member of the Diocese of Rochester’s charismatic renewal liaison team from 1988-97. He ran a charismatic-renewal prayer group that met weekly at St. Joseph for 15 years and very much enjoyed praying, talking and singing with the group’s members, Mary Germano said.

Deacon Germano loved music and sang in St. Joseph’s choir for a number of years, Deacon Kluchko added.

“He was a quiet, compassionate, unassuming, loving person, and was devoted to the Lord, his family, his job and his diaconal parish ministry,” he said.

Deacon Germano was a humble and prayerful deacon, agreed Father James Schwartz, pastor at St. Joseph since 2005. The deacon’s ministry was valued by both his fellow parishioners and colleagues at St. Joseph, he said.

“He was a person that really was involved in many areas of parish life. He was a much-loved member of our parish community,” Father Schwartz said.

In addition to his wife, Deacon Germano is survived by his sons, David (Chandra), Peter (Kristie) and Michael (Amber); daughter, Mary; grandchildren, Gloria, Alessa, Charlie, Luca, Briella and Mila; sister, Joyce (Deacon Tom) Kluchko; sister-in-law, Susan Germano; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Calling hours for Deacon Germano will take place Sept. 1, 2023, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Jennings, Nulton and Mattle Funeral Home, 1704 Penfield Road in Penfield. Deacon Germano’s funeral Mass will take place Sept. 5, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Church, 43 Gebhardt Road in Penfield.

Memorial contributions may be made to the neurology department of the University of Rochester Medical Center or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Tags: Deacons
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