Laid to rest after Mass of Christian Burial at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
WASHINGTON, D.C. – His Excellency, the Most Reverend Joseph Thomas Dimino, deceased Archbishop-emeritus for the Military Services, USA, was eulogized Tuesday as a “humble” man who was “always serving others.” The remarks came in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception during celebration of a Mass of Christian Burialfor Archbishop Dimino, who went home to the Father on Nov. 25 at the age of 91.
Auxiliary Bishop-emeritus Francis X. Roque, who served under Archbishop Dimino during his 1991-97 tenure as chief shepherd of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), recalled the time Archbishop Dimino went out of his way to assist an ill, paralyzed priest and retired Navy chaplain at the altar, celebrating a Mass in observance of the priest’s 25th anniversary ofordination. “It was a beautiful Mass,” Bishop Roque said, recalling the feeble condition of the priest-chaplain. “He couldn’t move his arms. The Archbishop raised the chalice for him.” Bishop Roque added, “I thought that that priest in many ways represented the Archbishop himself, because all his life as a priest, he helped others. He did everything. He looked ahead. His desk was always clean. He was always ready, but especially for others, to help others. Very humble. You would hardly know sometimes that he was the Archbishop because he was always serving others.”
Archbishop Dimino’s successor, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, was principal celebrant at the funeral Mass. His Eminence, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, concelebrated. Also concelebrating were AMS Auxiliary Bishops Richard B. Higgins, Neal J. Buckon, and Robert J. Coyle; Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Roque; Monsignor John J.M. Foster, J.C.D., AMS Vicar General; Father Christopher R. Armstrong, J.C.D., AMS Judicial Vicar; Father Aidan Logan, O.C.S.O., AMS Vocations Director; and Msgr. Aloysius Callaghan, former AMS Vicar General and now Rector ofSt. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. The AMS Chancellor, Deacon Mike Yakir, assisted.
In closing remarks, Archbishop Broglio, who was present when his predecessor passed away at a Washington, D.C. retirement home run by the Little Sisters of the Poor, recalled the moment of his birth to eternal life:
“The end of his earthly pilgrimage last Tuesday was touchingly spiritual and deeply consoling for those of us privileged to share that moment with him. He was surrounded by Jo Ann Redmond and Loan, two very faithful women who reminded me of the saintly women at the foot of the cross and by the Little Sisters of the Poor—ever faithful to the charism of Jeanne Jugan, their foundress… We prayed while Jo Ann and Loan attended to him. One of the Sisters suggested Compline for Sundays and he went to meet the Lord while we prayed the last hour of the day. Joseph Thomas Dimino was finally at peace. Now we have prayed that he will soon enjoy that serenity promised to the faithful servants of the Master. He was charged with the governance of the Archdiocese for barely six years, but his prayerful support continued for another seventeen. We pray that he will continue to intercede for us before the Throne of Grace.”
Archbishop Dimino is survived by his sister, Mrs. Mary Stephens of Del Ray Beach, Fla., who sat on the front row with her family at Mass. Archbishop Broglio extended his personal condolences:
“In the name of all of those here present and on behalf of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, I express heartfelt condolences to Mary Stephens, the nieces and other family members of the late Archbishop. No one will fill the void, but your brother and uncle and relative will continue to live in each one of you. His example, the stories, and the lessons he taught will not fade. The chalice that you and your parents gave him in 1949, Mary, is the one used at the Mass today.”
Finally, Archbishop Broglio read a message sent on behalf of Pope Francis and signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, VaticanSecretary of State:
“The Holy Father was saddened to learn of the death of the Most Reverend Joseph Thomas Dimino, and sends heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues. Recalling with gratitude Archbishop Dimino’s years of episcopal service in the Archdiocese for the Military Services, he joins you and all present at the Mass of Christian Burial in commending the late Archbishop’s soul to the merciful love of God our heavenly Father. To all who mourn Archbishop Dimino in the hope of the resurrection, and as a pledge of consolation and strength in our Lord Jesus Christ, His Holiness cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing.”
After Mass, Archbishop Dimino was laid to rest at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring, Md. Interment followed a graveside Rite of Committal celebrated by Archbishop Broglio.