Joseph Francis Girzone was born on May 15, 1930, and died on November 29, 2015.
Also known as the “Joshua Priest”, was an American Catholic priest and writer, most notably as the author of the Joshua series of novels.
Joseph was born in Albany, New York, to Peter, a butcher, and Margaret Girzone, the oldest of their twelve children.
It was a struggling family, which experienced the shame of eviction during his childhood.
Joseph entered the Carmelite Order as a young man and was ordained as a priest in 1955.
A few years later, he chose to leave the order in favour of life as a secular priest and was accepted by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.
Joseph then served in various parishes of the diocese, in the course of which he became active in advocating for the elderly.
He was a driving force in the formation of the Office for the Aging of Montgomery County.
In 1981, Joseph was diagnosed with a heart condition which was judged to be fatal, leading him to retire from active ministry.
Joseph accepted the forfeiture of any pension or medical benefits from the diocese as part of an agreement for his early retirement.
In 2015, Joseph entered hospice care at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, where he passed away on November 29 of that year from complications due to his longstanding heart disease.