Father Julian Michael Gnall, priest of the Eparchy of Phoenix and retired chaplain of the United States Navy, fell asleep in the Lord on Nov. 7 in San Diego, Calif.
He was born in Mahanoy City, Pa. on March 3, 1929, the eighth of 10 children of Joseph and Mary Stelmack Gnall.
His early education was in the public schools of Mahanoy City and after graduation from high school in 1946, he entered St. Procopius College in Lisle Illinois as a divinity student.
In 1948, Father Julian along with his fellow Ruthenian classmates founded the Benedictine Holy Trinity Monastery in Wilkinsburg, Pa. His studies were completed at SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Pittsburgh, Pa. and on May 29, 1955, he was ordained to the priesthood by then Bishop Nicholas T. Elko in St. John Chrysostom Church in Pittsburgh.
For the first five years of his priesthood, Father Julian helped in 45 different churches throughout what was then the Eparchy of Pittsburgh. Afterward he served as chaplain to the Sisters of St. Basil in Uniontown, instructor at their Mt. Macrina Academy, and administrator of St. Mary Church, Morgantown, W. Va.
In 1969 he was commissioned a lieutenant as a chaplain in the United States Navy.
He served with the United States Marines in combat in Vietnam, receiving the bronze star for performance with honor, courage an distinction. Further duty took him to naval stations in Norfolk, Va.; Keflavik, Iceland; San Diego, Calif. and the Philippines. Father Julian attained the rank of Commander and then Captain.
After retirement as naval chaplain, Father Julian attended the University of San Francisco where he earned a Masters degree in Theology. He then worked as a chaplain at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego for the next 15 years.
His funeral was celebrated by Father Michael Murphy at Sacred Heart Church in Coranado, Ca. on Nov. 14. Because of Covid-19
restrictions, interment was private at Mount St. Macrina cemetery in Uniontown, Pa.
In blessed repose, grant O Lord eternal rest to your departed servant the priest Julian and remember him forever!