FATHER ALFRED W. GIEBEL, 1946-2007 R.I.P (REQUIESCAT I N PACE)
Father Giebel was a conservative (conservative in the best sense of the word) priest. Everyone called him “Father Giebel” – not the au courant “Father Al,” which in his case would be like calling your dad by his first name. Of German descent, he was born in Brooklyn, New York. Father Giebel had a wry sense of humor, expressed with a vestige of Brooklyn accent.
No shrinking violet was he. He wasn’t one to be pushed around. Never was he too timid to confront the hierarchy with his opinion. Near the end of his pastorate, he suffered the results. As a priest, he was obedient – but deeply hurt.
Father Giebel was ordained in 1972, and came to Alaska in 1975. He served the Archdiocese of Anchorage from 1975 until the present. During that time he served at Holy Rosary Parish, Dillingham, and Saint Joseph's, Cordova. Father Giebel was pastor of St. Michael's, in Palmer, and pastor of St. Andrew's, in Eagle River. He was pastor of St. Benedict's in Anchorage for many years, and people came from all over the Anchorage bowl (like us) to St. Benedict’s, because of Father Giebel’s message and character. After the current archbishop removed him from St. Benedict’s, Father Giebel concluded his pastorate by serving the Monastery of the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Anchorage for a short time before his death.
Father Giebel was a dedicated ham radio operator, a private pilot, an indoor gardener, and was famous for making old fashioned German sauerkraut for the St. Benedict October Fests. Most of all, he was dedicated to youth education.
Marlene and I attended Father Giebel’s 35th ordination anniversary celebration at St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic on May 27th. That’s the last time we saw him alive, just twenty-two days ago. More than 200 honored the good priest’s anniversary. At the Vigil, today's Mass, and Graveside service, even more people were present to celebrate his entrance to eternal life. God Bless you, Good and Faithful Servant Father Giebel. May you rest in peace.
The photos show Father Giebel, the Knight’s of Columbus Honor Guard at the funeral, and Michael Rzeszut giving the first reading at the funeral Mass.