Monsignor Avelino Garcia, 75, a retired priest of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, passed away early Sunday morning, September 1, 2019, at Bon Secours Maria Manor, St. Petersburg. He was well-known for his kindly, personable manner and was well-loved by many whom he served during his 51 years of priestly ministry.
Monsignor Garcia was born to Dionisio and Josefa (Roman) Garcia in Tabara, Zamora, Spain. He was ordained to the priesthood on April 21, 1968 for the Diocese of Astorga, Spain, where he assisted in several rural parishes until being released to provide pastoral ministry to the Diocese of St. Petersburg in 1972. He first served as Parochial Vicar of Holy Cross Parish, Palmetto, and as Coordinator of the Spanish Apostolate and the Ministry to Migrant Farmworkers in Manatee County. He officially became a priest of the Diocese of St. Petersburg in 1978.
Monsignor Garcia later served as Parochial Vicar of Incarnation Parish, Tampa (1975-1979) and Corpus Christi Parish, Temple Terrace (1979-1980). He was then assigned to St. Clement, Plant City, where he served as Parochial Administrator from 1980-1984 and as Pastor from 1984-1985.
In January 1985, Monsignor Garcia was granted permission by Bishop Larkin to serve as an Air Force Chaplain, a role which he fulfilled for 21 years, serving in Washington, D.C. and in the Azores (Portugal). He returned to the Diocese of St. Petersburg in 2006 and was assigned as Pastor of Transfiguration Parish, St. Petersburg (2006-2011). During that time, he was granted the papal honor of Chaplain of His Holiness by Pope Benedict XVI, in December 2008, with the honorary title of "Monsignor." In 2011, he was appointed Pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish, Beverly Hills, where he served until his retirement in July 2016. Monsignor Garcia continued to reside in Citrus County until experiencing declining health earlier this past spring.
Monsignor Garcia was predeceased by his parents and two of his brothers, Candido and Marcial Garcia. Surviving family members include Monsignor Garcia's brother, Aureliano Garcia, and nieces, Begonia Garcia, and Maria del Carmen Garcia, and nephews Jose Luis Garcia, Andres Garcia and Manuel Garcia.
All funeral services will be held at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, 6 Roosevelt Boulevard, Beverly Hills and are as follows:
- Visitation: Monday, September 9, 2019, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
- Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m.
- Visitation: Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 10:30am – 12:00 pm
- Funeral Mass: Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 12:00 p.m.
Bishop Robert Lynch will be the Main Celebrant.
Burial will take place on Wednesday September 11, 2019, at 11:00 a.m., at Calvary Catholic Cemetery, 5233 118th Avenue N., Clearwater.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to the family of Msgr. Avelino Garcia, c/o the Chancellor's Office, Diocese of St. Petersburg, P.O. Box 40200, St. Petersburg, FL 33743-0200.
Funeral arrangements under the direction of the Fero Funeral Home and Crematories, Beverly Hills, FL. www.ferofuneralhome.com
Published by Citrus County Chronicle on Sep. 8, 2019.