The First Anniversary of the Transition to the Lord of The Servant of God, Phil of Madison IOFM
Today we come to together as his church, his clergy family and his dear friends, to remember our dear brother, The Rt Rev Philip Gerboc IOFM, on this, his first anniversary of his Transition to Eternal Life.
We all dearly loved our brother Phil. He was constantly striving in doing the Lord’s service. Phil spent a lot of time in political ministry, constantly working to improve conditions for the needy, and working to get acceptance for all our dear Lgbtqi brothers and sisters.
The servant of God Phil of Madison IOFM, passed into life eternal on 2 February 2017, after a couple of weeks in a coma with a severe double stroke. He was ordained to the priesthood on 27th May 2012 and was, at the time of his transition, the Vicar General and Bishop-elect of the Diocese of the Great Lakes of the Unified Old Catholic Church.
He was born on 19 February 1962 in Cleveland, OH to the late William and Kathleen Cullen Gerboc, the youngest of 4 children. He ministered to the homeless, mentally ill, and poor in Madison, Wisconsin and was known as the “Labor Priest.” He founded The Independent Order of Friars Minor, the Franciscan Order of The Unified Old Catholic Church, as well as the IOFM Third Order. He was also instrumental in the foundation of the church itself. Philip was one who fought for the faith, no matter the cost, who stood up for the down-trodden, who continually worked for the betterment of mankind. He truly exemplified Christ’s command to feed the hungry, to house the homeless, to clothe the naked.
Like his hero, St. Francis, Fr. Phil dedicated his life to service. A dedicated, die hard Franciscan, he could quote the Omnibus at length, at the drop of a hat, ad infinitum.
And like St. Francis, Phil has left us too soon.
Phil was a wonderful example of being a true, devout and faithful servant of God, and there is such a lot about his devotion, that we can all follow in our own lives in the service of our God. He was genuine, so sincere and would stop at nothing to care for those in need. He even put his own health at risk because others came first. I know that I am only one of the people in the church who has been blessed by the example and the love and friendship of Phil. He was very protective of his dear clergy brothers and sisters, and I remember fondly the amount of times, he would hear someone was giving me a hard time, and he would come and jump to my defence, always wanting to ensure people would treat me as Phil thought I deserved.
Thank you so much dear brother for your love and friendship, and for your example. You have indeed left a light shining in all of our hearts, and I just know you are carrying on your excellent service at the throne of the Heavenly Father on high.,
I will close with this poem Written by Lisa DeVinney on November 26, 2014:
Well Done, Faithful Servant!
Well done, faithful servant!
You ran a valiant race.
You pressed with fervour toward the mark;
And always sought My face.
Well done, faithful servant!
You stayed the course with love.
You reached out to a hurting world
With grace sent from above.
Yes, well done, faithful servant!
Come, rest here at My throne.
And let Me tell you just how much
I’m glad to have you home.
And now, My faithful servant,
Come, walk along with Me;
And find the joy awaiting you
For all eternity…
We love you!!!