SUNY Canton Campus Ministry Founder Passes Away
The priest who brought Campus Ministry to SUNY Canton has passed away.
Father Harry E. Giroux died Monday, February 13, 2012 at the Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg. He was 61 years old.
“Father Harry was truly a friend of the students,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “He saw his mission as working directly with students and was the main force behind establishing a campus ministry at SUNY Canton. We’re grateful for the years he served our campus and the impact he had on our community.”
Giroux arrived in Canton in June 1985 as the Pastor of St. Thomas More Campus Parish. In addition to his work at the College, he also served St. Lawrence University students. During his tenure, he taught college courses, facilitated the Big Brother Big Sisters Program, helped establish local ‘Make A Difference’ days as well as other fall and spring clean ups, served as the advisor to several fraternities and assisted with a variety of programs on both campuses.
Giroux was born on April 14, 1950 in Massena, a twin son of the late Harry E. Sr. and Patricia Munson Giroux. Following high school, Giroux graduated from Wadhams Hall Seminary-College in 1972. He soon began theological studies and seminary formation at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was awarded a Master of Divinity degree in 1976.
That same year, Giroux was ordained a Catholic priest, alongside twin brother Father Garry B. Giroux by Bishop Stanislaus J. Brzana at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Ogdensburg. Before beginning his work at SUNY Canton, he was assigned to Our Lady of Victory Church in Plattsburgh, Holy Family Church in Watertown where he also served as the Campus Ministry chaplain at Jefferson Community College, and St. Alexander’s Church in Morrisonville. During his time in Morrisonville, he pursued and received his master’s degree in psychology from SUNY Plattsburgh.
Giroux was transferred from his work in Canton to St. Joseph’s Church in West Chazy in 2000, where he served until illness forced him to resign his pastorate in 2006. He spent the remaining years of his life alongside his brother and sister before entering St. Joseph’s Nursing Home in 2009.
He served as the Diocesan Director of Campus Ministry and the Diocesan Director of Young Adult Ministry. Giroux was a member of the Knights of Columbus, where he was currently a member of the Watertown Assembly #259 and the 4th Degree Knights, Plattsburgh Assembly #706.