Long-time friar and teacher from Siena dies at the age of 94


COLONIE – A beloved monk who taught at Siena College for more than 50 years has died two years after retiring in Florida.

Rev. Peter Fiore, 94, died Sunday at St. Anthony Hospital in St. Petersburg. He had lived in St. Petersburg at St. Anthony Friary, a home for the elderly. He was remembered as a particularly good teacher who was even able to combine modern literature with religious life.

“He just made me realize… how God is in everything in life,” said Rev. Brian Jordan, who took classes with Fiore before joining the Franciscans in the 1970s. “He made the connection between literature and the human condition very real.”

Fiore’s behavior also encouraged Jordan to become a monk.

“It was his kindness and his reassuring smile,” he said. “It told me he was happy in his calling. A lot of people aren’t happy (in their jobs) and I’ve always been taught that you have to be happy with what you do.”

Another monk recalled Fiore’s love of Italian cuisine.

“He was such a brilliant mind when it came to English literature, but my fondest memory of Peter is when he taught me how to make meatballs using his mother’s secret recipe,” said Rev. Frank Sevola. “The first time he prepared them , I was hooked. He was happy to share the recipe, although it was a family secret brought here by his mother from her hometown of Fondi, Italy.”

Fiore attended Siena College on the GI Bill after serving in the US Army during World War II. During his time in Siena he met Franciscan friars who were professors at the college and inspired him to join the order.

He earned his PhD in Renaissance English literature, focusing on the theological aspects of redemption and redemption in Milton’s Paradise Lost, which was also the subject of one of his six books.

Then he returned to Siena to teach. He was Professor of English, Chair of the English Faculty and Dean of the School of Liberal Arts. During part of his tenure he directed Siena’s prestigious Greyfriar Living Literature Series and brought the most famous writers of the time to campus as visiting professors. In 2013, Siena graduate William McGoldrick and his wife established the Peter Fiore, OFM, Excellence in English Endowment to support faculty and student enrichment in literature and the arts.

He is survived by many relatives including nine nieces and nephews who were like his children: Virginia Kavanaugh, Susan Fiore, Peter Patrick Fiore (Patrice), Joan Flanagan (Robert), Ellen Fiore, Christine Shear (Fred), William Luciano ( Joanne), Peter Luciano (Gail) and Mary Ann Roemer (Guy).

His wake will be held on Sunday April 24 from 2pm to 4pm in the Chapel of St Mary of the Angels at Siena College. A Resurrection Mass will be held in the campus chapel on Monday, April 25 at 10:30 am, immediately followed by military tributes. Cremation will take place after Mass, with burial at a later date in South Glens Falls. All participants must pre-register online on the college website.


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