Coronavirus News: 2nd priest serving Diocese of Brooklyn dies of COVID-19

BROOKLYN, New York City (WABC) -- A second priest serving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has died due to the novel coronavirus.

The Diocese of Brooklyn announced the death of Father Gioacchino Basile, 60, who was to mark his 25th anniversary of his ordination later this year.

Basile was a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, and had been ministering as pastor of Saint Gabriel Church in the East Elmhurst section of Queens.

He was born on February 8, 1960, and ordained a priest on May 27, 1995, according to the Diocese of Brooklyn. Basile first ministered as Parochial Vicar at Saint Joseph's in New Jersey, and 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.

"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," said the Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn.

The Diocese of Brooklyn stated upon his arrival at St. Gabriel's, Father Basile immediately 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 February 25.

Father Gioacchino Basile was trained in the Neocatecumenal Movement and served as the Spiritual Director of Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Douglaston, the release said. 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.

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