Father Gioacchino Basile, a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, who has been ministering as Pastor of Saint Gabriel Church in East Elmhurst, died Saturday due to complications of coronavirus, according to the Diocese of Brooklyn.
He is the second priest serving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn to die as a result of coronavirus.
“Father Gioacchino Basile, a native of Calabria, Italy who died today, was small in stature, but mighty in energy for the Lord. Unfortunately, Father’s underlying health conditions made it difficult for him to fight the virus. In addition to English and Italian, Father spoke Spanish fluently and ministered well to all of the people of his parish and the faithful of the Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens,” the Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, said Saturday.
Father Basile, 60, was ordained as a priest on May 27, 1995. He first ministered as Parochial Vicar at Saint Joseph’s in New Jersey, was then released to work in the Diocese of Ponce (Puerto Rico) and then released to the Diocese of Brooklyn, where he was assigned Administrator of Saint Gabriel’s in 2008.
Upon his arrival at St. Gabriel’s, Father Basile cultivated a vibrant sense of community in the parish, most notably with the institution of an annual parish celebration of the Feast of St. Gabriel, the Patron Saint of the parish, celebrated on Feb. 25.
Father Basile was trained in the Neocatecumenal Movement and served as the Spiritual Director of Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Douglaston. Father Basile also assisted as a chaplain at LaGuardia Airport.
Funeral arrangements are private and a Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later time.