RINGWOOD, N.J. — Joel Munzing, OFM, 94, a professed Franciscan friar for 73 years and a priest for 67, died Thursday, Nov. 13 at Holy Name Friary. A wake service was held there Nov. 14.
The following day, a Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, at St. Anthony Church in Butler, N.J. Burial followed at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Totowa, N.J.
Born on Jan. 24, 1920 in Carlstadt, N.J., to Jacob and Wilhemina, Joel was baptized at St. Joseph’s Church in East Rutherford, N.J. After attending the parochial school, he spent high school and his first two years of college at St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., from 1934 to 1940.
He was received into the Order in 1940 at St. Bonaventure Church, Paterson, N.J., where he professed first vows one year later. He made his solemn profession in 1946 and was ordained in 1947.
A parish priest for most of his life, Joel spent his early years — from 1949 to 1956 — as an associate at several New Jersey parishes, including St. Bonaventure in Paterson, St. Anne in Fair Lawn, and St. Elizabeth in Wyckoff.
He relocated to New York City in 1956 to spend a year at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street. He then spent the next 12 years as pastor of St. George Parish in Jeffersonville and St. Francis Parish in Youngsville, both in Upstate New York.
In 1970, he returned to New Jersey to serve for three years as an associate at St. Bonaventure Parish. After a stint as moderator of the Secular Franciscan fraternity at Assumption Church in Wood-Ridge, N.J., from 1973 to 1975, Joel returned to St. Anne’s in Fair Lawn in 1979, where he served for four years.
His final ministry was as curator at the Franciscan friary in Margate, N.J., from 1983 to 1999. Joel retired to St. Anthony Friary in Butler in 1999 and moved in 2003 to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, where he lived for the remaining 11 years of his life.
He is survived by a niece, Helena Mills of Toms River, N.J.
Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars-Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd St., New York NY 10001.
— Compiled by Carolyn Croke and Maria Hayes