August 25, 2017

UPDATED: Father Regis Giroux dies at 78; did missionary work in Peru

By Rebecca Drake

(IObserve photo/courtesy of Denise King)


SPRINGFIELD — Father Regis J. Giroux, 78, died Aug. 21 in Miramar, Fla.

The son of Ernest and Lena (Jarvis) Giroux, he was born Nov. 8, 1938, in Adams. He attended the former St. Joseph Central High School in Pittsfield from 1954-57, and the Elm Bank Seminary in Wellesley, Mass., from 1958-59. He received a bachelor of arts degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1965, and completed studeis for the priesthood at Santo Toribio Seminary in Lima, Peru from 1965-66 and San Jeronimo Seminary in Arequipa, Peru from 1967-69.

He was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of Huaraz, Peru on April 12, 1970, and returned to Massachusetts to celebrate his first Mass. On the day before he was scheduled to return to Peru, the town he had been living in there was destroyed by an earthquake; most of the people in the town were killed.

“He was physically affected by that,” recalled Father Giroux’s niece, Denise King of Pittsfield, describing the sorrow that her uncle felt when he heard the news of the earthquake. Father Giroux organized a telethon in Pittsfield to help victims of the earthquake and returned to Peru as soon as he could to continue his ministry there. He then served as an assistant at San Francisco de Asis in Chiquian, Peru, from 1970-75. He had to leave Peru, King said, due to health reasons; he suffered from asthma, which was aggravated by the climate in the mountains there.

“He loved his missionary work and the people there,” King said, in an interview with iobserve.

Father Giroux was incardinated into the Diocese of Springfield on Nov. 29, 1985.

He served as an assistant at Sacred Heart Parish in Holyoke from Sept. 20, 1975 to Oct. 4, 1975; at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in West Springfield from Oct. 4, 1975 to Nov. 6, 1976; at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Northampton from Nov. 6, 1976 to May 5, 1979; at St. Mary Parish in Westfield from May 5, 1979 to Aug. 20, 1980; at the diocesan Spanish Apostolate in Springfield from Aug. 20, 1980 to July 15, 1981. He also served as director of the Spanish Apostolate.

Father Giroux served as an assistant at Sacred Heart Parish in Holyoke from 1981 to 1989; and at All Souls Parish in Springfield from 1989-92. He was administrator at Holy Family Parish in Springfield from March 9 to May 18, 1985 and at All Souls Parish, Springfield, from 1992 to 1997. He was administrator of Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Perpetual Help parishes in Holyoke from April 21 to Aug. 22, 1999.

Father Giroux served as director of the Spanish Apostolate at Casa Maria in Holyoke from 1987-91; and as director of the Spanish-speaking Cursillo Movement. He served on the Dicoesan Vocation Advisory Board and on the Diocesan Commission for Ecumenism and Interfaith Council. He served in team ministry with Father Francis Reilly at Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Perpetual Help parishes in Holyoke in the late 1990s.

He was granted sabbatical leave on Aug. 22, 1999 and went to live with his brother, Bernard, in Miramar, Fla.

Father Giroux was predeceased by his parents; his nephew, Lester Giroux; and his brother, Leonard, who died in March of this year. He is survived by his brothers, Bernard Giroux, of Miramar, Fla., and Alan Giroux and his wife, Siglinda, of Orange Park, Fla.; his nieces, Denise King, and her husband, David, of Pittsfield, Darlene Salacup and her husband, Manual, of Salinas, Calif., Therese Giroux of Morina, Calif., Monique Franz and her husband, Paul, of Oceanside, Calif., Giselle Giroux and her husband, Daniel Naughton, of Omaha, Neb., and Cathy Haralson of Orange Park, Fla.; and several grandnieces and grandnephews.

At Father Giroux’s request, there will be no calling hours. The funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday, Aug. 28 at 11 a.m. at St. Steven Church in Miramar, Fla. Hunter Funeral Home in Miramar is handling the arrangements.