Francis Gerald Geigel 

*6 Feb 1912 - †29 Apr 2010
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Note:

a) From the June 19, 1998 edition of the Green Bay Compass (Diocesan newspaper) on the occasion of Father Francis' 60 years as a priest:

WABENO PASTOR ENJOYED DISTINGUISHED MILITARY CAREER

If you look for Fr. Francis Geigel these days, you'll find him enjoying his retirement fishing, playing cards, and visiting with neighbors and friends from his parish in Wabeno. This comes as no surprise to those who know him.
"What has always impressed me about him," says Fr. Mike Carroll, a second cousin to Fr. Geigel, "is his love for people. He has a great rapport with people."
As he reflects on his sixty years in the priesthood, Fr. Geigel can't remember when he did not want to be a priest. Born in St. Nazianz, the ninth of ten children, he entered the seminary after eighth grade and completed his high school education at Sacred Heart in Manitowoc. He was influenced in his vocation by his older sister, Sr. Adjutora, who had entered a convent before he was born, and another of his sisters who also became a nun. Fr. Geigel received a B.A. in philosophy at St. Francis Seminary in 1934 and M.A. in church history in 1938. He was ordained May 28, 1938.
Much of Fr. Geigel's ministry was spent as a chaplain, first in the Civilian Conservation Corps, next in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and then in the U.S. Air Force.
"Through the Air Force I saw so much of the world," he recalls. "I had never traveled much before that time, but then half of my years as chaplain were spent overseas, in the Philippines, France, Germany, Spain, and in Alaska, which at that time was considered overseas."
Fr. Geigel reflects on his military career with quiet satisfaction. "I was stationed in France after World War II. It was at the beginning of NATO, and there were servicemen from the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Canada, France, and Belgium, all working together on the same base outside of Paris. We often celebrated Mass together too, because not all the nationalities had chaplains there."
"Then in Germany, we lived on a base where the German Luftwaffe was housed previously. When I said Mass, twenty or so townspeople would come, in addition to the soldiers. After Mass I talked with the German people and translated for them what I had said to the American soldiers. It pleased me that I could speak the language well enough to do that."
Over the next ten years, Fr. Geigel was assigned to Air Force bases throughout the U.S. from Oregon to Florida to Washington, D.C. and more. Upon retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel, he was appointed pastor of St. Anthony Parish, Marinette, then as pastor of St. Ambrose Parish, Wabeno. He also later served as administrator at Laona and Newald and at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Goodman.
Fr. Geigel has seen changes in the way priests operate over the years. "They don't pay much attention to rules and regulations anymore," he said. "It makes it difficult to concelebrate, because sometimes the wording and other things are changed."
As he considers the shortage of priests today, Fr. Geigel sees having more deacons or lay ministers work as administrators of the parishes as the solution. Priests would become "circuit riders, like in the early days of our country. They would visit several parishes, administering the sacrament every week or two."
Although he suggests it, Fr. Geigel will not be "circuit riding." He admits his health has slowed him down, For now, he's content to go fishing and spend time with the people who are dear to him.

FR. GEIGEL BIOGRAPHY:
Fr. Francis Gerald Geigel, the 9th of 10 children of Joseph and Anna (Milhaupt) Geigel, was born on February 6, 1912. He is the cousin of Fr. Michael Carroll.
HOME PARISH: St. Nazianz
EDUCATION: St. Francis Seminary, Milwaukee B.A., M.A. Ordained by Bp. Paul Rhode, St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Green Bay on May 28, 1938.
ASSOCIATE PASTOR: Annunciation, Green Bay; Sacred Heart, Oshkosh.
PASTOR: St. Anthony, Marinette; St. Ambrose, Wabeno.
ADMINISTRATOR: St. Leonard, Laona and St. Hubert, Newald; St. Joan of Arc, Goodman. Retired March 15, 1977.
OTHER SERVICE TO DIOCESE: Assistant Chancellor and secretary to Bp. Paul Rhode, with additional duties as chaplain of the Civilian Conservation Corps camps at Mountain and the missions of Wabeno and Lakewood. Other service; U.S. Army chaplain. Separated from active service with the rank of Lieutenant colonel.

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  • 21 Jan 1974