A gentle shepherd

Msgr. Lawrence Giblin remembered as a dedicated servant of the Lord

By Claudia Mathis
SUN staff writer

Msgr. Lawrence Giblin passed away Saturday, Sept. 26. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated for Msgr. Giblin at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Vestal on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Bishop Thomas Costello presided at the funeral Mass.

Father Gerald Buckley delivered the homily. He opened his homily by quoting a prayer from the Rite of Ordination for a Priest. “The bishops pray: ‘Do your part in the work of Christ, The Priest, with genuine joy and love, always remember the example of The Good Shepherd who came not to be served but to serve,’” said Father Buckley.

Father Buckley noted that Msgr. Giblin reflected those qualities in his interactions with the people whose lives he touched. “He enjoyed being a priest, a Good Shepherd,” said Father Buckley. “He used well the gifts God gave him, especially in preaching. He was a very gentle, prayerful man and he was a great speaker.”

Father Buckley said he met Msgr. Giblin for the first time in 1957 when he was ordained. He got to know him especially well during the last 10 years as residents at the McDevitt Residence in Binghamton. “We enjoyed his companionship and his sense of humor,” said Father Buckley. “He was the model of a prayerful priest and he shared his joy with us.”

Father Buckley also mentioned that he traveled to Ireland with Msgr. Giblin several times and that he enjoyed his company because he was “full of energy and life.”

Msgr. Giblin was a graduate of St. Patrick’s class of 1935. He also graduated from Niagara University and St. Bernard’s Seminary and studied at Catholic University of America. He was ordained June 3, 1944, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse.

Msgr. Giblin served as assistant at St. John’s Church in Utica from 1944 – 1951 and served as assistant pastor at St. Patrick’s Church in Binghamton until 1962. He was the founding principal of Catholic Central High School in Binghamton in 1962, where he served until 1966.

In 1966, Msgr. Giblin became the founding pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Vestal, where he remained until his retirement in 1991.

Pope Paul VI named Msgr. Giblin Honorary Prelate on July 7, 1973.

Father Robert Ours, a teacher at Seton Catholic Central High School in Binghamton, said he felt privileged to meet Msgr. Giblin at St. Vincent de Paul’s in the early 1980s. “It was one year after I was ordained and he was a great influence on my life,” said Father Ours. “He was a very patient and holy man. He loved the priesthood and his people. He really encouraged me in my endeavors.”

Father John Putano, pastor at Our Lady of Sorrows in Vestal, agreed with Father Ours. “We all looked up to him because he was so dedicated,” he said. “He was a good example to us all.”

After his retirement, Msgr. Giblin continued to support the school that he founded. “He continued to look in on the school and contributed to the school’s scholarship funds,” said Father Buckley. “He helped students who were unable to pay their tuition.”

Father Buckley noted that it was a coincidence that Msgr. Giblin died one day before the Feast of St. Vincent. “A day of prayer in thanksgiving of their patron saint was celebrated by the parish family,” said Father Buckley.

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