August 20, 2002 Alexandria, Virginia
The Sere family arrived in the United States from Poland in the 1920?s, and made their home in Chicago Ill. Joseph Sere, was one of six children born to Joseph and Mary Sere on Sept. 20, 1931.
Joe?s Mother died when he was 12 years old. This was a turning point in his life, because his mother was the hierarchy of eminent strength in the family, guiding each of the children toward pursuing their dreams in America. After her death, Joe and the other siblings had to go to work in their father?s business to help support the family. Life had then become very hard for Joe as a young boy, working long strenuous hours. However, this did not persuade nor change Joe?s vision. He became active in the Catholic Church as an altar boy and was talented in sports.
At the age of 14, Joe entered the seminary to begin his training and preparation for the priesthood. He was ordained for the Chicago Archdiocese twelve years later and was then sent to his own parish where he continued his life as a priest.
As years passed, Joe had become very troubled about his life and believed that God had another plan for him. Therefore he left the archdiocese and relocated to California, where he became employed with the Federal government. During this time in California, Joe met Virginia McGhee and fell in love. They were married on July 2, 1965. A daughter was born to Virginia and Joseph, and was named GiGi Sere, but everyone called her ?ANGEL.? Joe relocated from California to Virginia in 1969, and continued employment with the Federal Government until retirement.
Joe was a loving father, husband, neighbor, co-worker and friend. Joe spent his life ministering to others and always providing a helping hand to anyone who was in need. During times of adversities in his life, he was a tower of strength and never doubted that God was always in control.
Joe was committed to the married priest movement. He attended the first meetings of the International Federation of Married Priests in Chiusi, Italy and the first National CORPUS Conference of married priests in Washington. Those who attended may recall him wearing sandwich boards in front of the gathering at American University, proclaiming the reality of a maried priesthood.
Joe died at home after a long illness surrounded by his wife and daughter on August 20, 2002.