RINGWOOD, N.J. — Giles Bello, OFM, 84, a professed Franciscan friar for 63 years and a priest for 58, died Sept. 2 at Holy Name Friary.
A wake and wake service were offered Sept. 5 at St. Anthony Church in Butler, N.J. Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial on Sept. 6 at St. Anthony Church. Burial followed at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Butler.
Born Feb. 21, 1929 to James and Julia Bello, Giles was baptized James Francis in Long Island City, N.Y. In 1946, he graduated from Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., enrolling at Fordham University in New York City later that year. He then attended St. Joseph Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., from 1948 to 1949.
He was received into the Order on Aug. 12, 1949 at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., where he professed his first vows one year later. Giles studied philosophy at St. Stephen Friary in Croghan, N.Y., and St. Anthony Friary in Butler, receiving a bachelor’s degree in 1952 from St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y. He studied theology at Holy Name College in Washington from 1952 to 1956.
Giles made his solemn profession at Holy Name College on Sept. 17, 1953. He was ordained to the priesthood at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington on June 9, 1955.
Following ordination, Giles served in parochial ministry at several parishes in the Metropolitan New York area: St. Stephen of Hungary Parish in New York City and Holy Angels in Little Falls and St. Joseph Parish in Little Falls and East Rutherford, N.J., respectively. In 1962, he was named director of the lay brothers’ training program at St. Stephen Friary in Croghan, where he served as guardian from 1964 to 1967.
When the program moved to St. Francis Friary in Rye Beach, N.H., in 1967, he continued there as director for a few months, but was named Secretary of the Province later that year. Giles then moved to St. Francis Friary in New York City, where he continued to serve when he was elected to the Provincial Council in 1973, a position he held for two terms. That year, he became pastor and guardian of Holy Cross Parish in the Bronx, N.Y. From 1975 to 1977, he was parochial vicar at St. Elizabeth’s in Wyckoff, N.J.
He returned to St. Francis of Assisi Parish as a member of the pastoral staff, serving from 1978 to 1984. In 1981, he earned a master’s degree in education from Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. Giles ministered as pastoral associate at St. Francis Chapel in Providence, R.I. from 1984 to 1986, and from 1986 to 1987, he served as assistant novice director at St. Francis Friary in Brookline, Mass.
He was then appointed director of St. Francis Chapel, Albany, N.Y., where he ministered from 1987 to 1996. Giles served as pastoral associate at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, Mass., for one year before being appointed assistant to the director of the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University from 1997 to 2000. He retired to St. Anthony Friary in Butler, and transferred to Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, in 2001.
Giles is survived by his sister, Mrs. Joyce Case, and several nephews. Condolences may be addressed to: Mr. and Mrs. John Case, Lion’s Head South, 42 Lauren Lane, Brick, NJ 08723.
Memorial donations may be sent to: Franciscan Friars-Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd St., New York, NY 10001.
— Compiled by Theresa Bartha