Where is your hometown?
What is its’ name, which is the biggest plumbing job in the “Third from the Sun” aka the world?
It is: Flushing, New York!
Do you have any siblings?
Three older sisters.
Tell us a little bit about your childhood and education.
My grandparents were Sicilian immigrants. My mother worked as a seamstress in the NYC garment industry. My father worked about 40 years in an iconic role: he was a NYC taxi driver.
Did you serve in the military or have any professional work experiences before entering the seminary?
During the Vietnam War, I entered the United States Navy as a Radarman (Operations Specialist).
A hatch in the ship had a quote painted on it: “IN GOD WE TRUST, ALL OTHERS WE TRACK”
After time, I entered the seminary. After ten years of ministry in South America with the
M.S.A., I again entered the sea services, and later retired from the U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps.
I sailed aboard dugout canoes on the Peruvian Amazon to the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65), a nuclear aircraft carrier, rather a starship one!
When did you first hear the call to the priesthood?
There was a stage between my two active duty tours in the Navy. Meanwhile, a brother from the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn mentored and “called” me to consider a vocation.
Holy Apostles College and Seminary…
The MSA charism really accompanied persons who did not have “the knowledge of the ecclesiastical ropes.” Studying at the “Angelicum” in Rome was a blessed opportunity, a challenging and inspirational experience.
When were you ordained a priest?
On the Feast of the Chair of Peter: February 22, 1984.
Do you have a favorite saint?
It’s so difficult to pick just one! If, however, you are in the state of grace, I like this one: you and ALL the saints are a part of the HEART of CHRIST’S MYSTICAL BODY.
What is your favorite hobby?
In the past I had a coin collection, particularly U.S. Indian head pennies. Now, I listen and collect music from Adagios to Zydeco!
What is your favorites scripture passage?
He tells this story about what happened, while in Rome, shortly after his assignment to the Amazon. Peruvians told him not to worry if natives ever captured him and he found out that they “was a cookin’ him.” He simply had to quote Scripture. He could tell the indigenous the words of Jesus, “I came to serve, not to be served (Mark 10:45)!
What is your favorite book?
The Shadow of His Wings by Fr. Gereon Goldmann, O.F.M.
My favorite food is …
Italian, especially pizza!
The movie that never gets old is …
Ben Hur (A Tale of the Christ); 1959.
When watching sports, I root for …
I enjoy watching Major League Baseball, especially for the New York Yankees (The Bronx Bombers).
Outside of Liturgical Prayers, my favorite prayer is …
Of course, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Rosary; and are including these short prayers:
“All well. Well done.” (confer Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 313);
“Keep calm” (cf. Teresa of Avila’s Nada te turbe), “BLESSED BE GOD. All ways. Always”, and “BE safe from all distress”; “BEING in God’s Serenity”; and “BE still in the Lord’s Merciful Presence”.
Priesthood and religious life are …
My reason of life.
What brief advice would you give a man, especially an “older vocation” discerning the priesthood and/or religious life?
Accept your vocation when the Lord Jesus calls in ALL TIMES.
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(Edited: May 2019)