Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

Fr. Joseph Rigali

Fr. Joseph Rigali, OFM. Well past retirement, Fr. Rigali served wherever his Franciscan province needed him. Fr. Joe died Nov. 27 at the age of 84 at St. Paul's Archbishop Leibold Home in Cincinnati, where he had lived and ministered for the past three years. 

The son of Joseph and Mildred Rigali, Joseph was born in Lima, Ohio, on July 20, 1931. He entered the Province of St. John the Baptist of the Order of Friars Minor in 1949, completed his studies at Holy Family Theologate in Oldenburg, Ind., and was ordained a priest in 1958. Starting in 1959, his 55 years of service to the People of God cast him as pastor, educator, retreat master, vocation director, campus minister, missionary and chaplain. In 1991 he guided the merger creating St. Monica-St. George Parish & Newman Center in Cincinnati. He retired to St. Leonard in Centerville, Ohio, in 2009, only to be called back into action in New Orleans to restore spirits and buildings devastated by Hurricane Katrina. After retiring to St. Leonard in 2011, he was then called to be resident chaplain at St. Paul's Archbishop Leibold Home. His third retirement, in 2014, was his last as he met the challenges of declining health.

Fr. Joe is survived by his brothers in community and his sisters JoAnn Rigali and Mary Moritz. His parents, his sisters Betty Gaull and Helen Kitzmiller, and his step-brother Tony Dell preceded him in death.