|July 10, 2017 • VOL. 55, NO. 13 • Oakland, CA|
Salute to our veteran priests
Rev. Msgr. Daniel E. Cardelli
Birthplace: Fall River, Massachusetts
Rev. Thomas Lester
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon
Ordination: July 2, 1957
Redemptorist, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Incardinated: January 17, 1985
Diocese of Oakland
Present ministry: Retired
Past service: Redemptorist: Teacher/missionary work, Holy Redeemer College, Oakland. Working with the Cursillo movement in the Bay Area. Chaplain, Saint Mary's College, Moraga. Campus ministry, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and Billings, Montana. Pastor, St. Alphonsus Liguori Parish, San Leandro
Diocese of Oakland: Associate pastor, St. Leo Parish, Oakland; St. Joachim Parish, Hayward; Santa Maria Parish, Orinda; St. Leander Parish, San Leandro. Pastor, St. Leo Parish, Oakland.
In the Latin Mass which we said when I was first ordained, after the priest took the host and prepared to receive the precious blood, he said, quietly to himself,
What shall I give to the Lord in return for all that He has given to me?
I shall accept the chalice of salvation and call on the Lord's name.
With Praise I shall call on the Lord's name and I shall be saved from my enemies.
It was left to the priest to identify "his enemies," as, for instance, my own recalcitrant inclinations.
Those Latin words still come to my lips and stir my heart as I complete 60 years as a priest. I have so much for which to thank the Lord! Take three examples, symbols of the ministry that has defined my priesthood.
There is Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, John XXIII, a man whose Christian faith and love and warmth immediately captured the affection of the world. Through Pope John, the Lord has given us the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, the challenge to learn again what it means to be a follower of Christ in a new and different age.
As we grow stale and our response to the challenge of reform bogs down, the Lord gives us Jorge Mario Bergoglio who introduces himself by his first title, Bishop of Rome. These popes called us to fidelity to our Christian Tradition as faithfully as the other popes of our modern times. But John and Francis have spoken with their way of living as truly as with their words. They call us to the continuing change of heart that moves us to our renewal and reform, to a deeper change of heart in a way that moves us to an eager response.
In this praise and thanks to the Lord for these 60 years of priestly ministry, I include my thanks to you, his holy people who have so often taught me how to live his Gospel and have supported me through its challenges and joys. I include my deep gratitude to the priests of our diocese and priests of the dioceses around the area who have challenged me with their example and have supported me with their friendship.
Thanks to the Lord and praise his holy name!
50 Years of Priestly Ministry
Rev. Ronald Clemo, SJ
Birthplace: San Francisco
Rev. Paul Conner, OP
Birthplace: Leadville, Colorado
Ordination: June 16, 1967
St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, Oakland
Present ministry: Retired, St. Albert's Priory, Oakland
Past service: Assistant and associate professor, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley. Associate professor, University of San Francisco; Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, Wisconsin; The University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome, Italy; Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island.
My experience of being a priest has been very peaceful and positive. I have been a college teacher of moral and spiritual theology most of my 50 years as a priest. Students have been very interested in coming to grasp the Catholic faith on an adult level. They have been happy to discover answers to their questions that are objective and satisfying. My goal has been to offer them a setting respectful of their questions and the opportunity to investigate their questions in a spirit of intellectual honesty. They have come to respect the centuries-old Catholic wisdom that is open to continual harmonious unfolding. The student response over the years has been a source of priestly contentment.
I have also enjoyed a briefer parochial ministry. To celebrate daily Mass and to preach. To prepare people for marriage, baptism, and the Eucharist has been very satisfying. To counsel people struggling in one way or another to develop the virtues that will let them live the Catholic life has been rewarding. I can imagine no other life calling that offers such fulfillment, and I thank God for my vocation.
Rev. Seamus J. Farrell
Ordination: March 18, 1967 Birmingham, England
Present ministry: Pastor, St. Bede Parish, Hayward
Past service: Associate pastor, All Saints Parish, Hayward; St. John the Baptist Parish, San Lorenzo. Administrator, St. John the Baptist Parish, San Lorenzo.
My personal sense of awe and wonderment at the mystery of the Priesthood has increased over the years. The realization that it is Christ's priesthood that I and many others share in, is a constant reminder that it is a privilege given, not a right, and with it a corresponding responsibility and accountability to the Lord Himself. It is an essential gift of service to His people on a shared journey of faith toward the eternal destiny, God has called us to. To be God's instrument in this sacred way, which encompasses our own individuality, limitations, weaknesses and sinfulness is a most profound mystery. To be a laborer in the Lord's vineyard has become increasingly a labor of love, rather than a burden.
To be a priest today, like many before us, does face new challenges – yet, as always, the permanence and transcendence of the Lord mysteriously brings us through with confidence and hope. His Eucharistic presence is an essential part of this. The love of His Mother, Mary cannot but give us hope and comfort. I thank the Lord for this and for those with whom I have journeyed with over these past 50 years.
Rev. Msgr. Joseph Ferraro
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Ordination: May 20, 1967
Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Baltimore, Maryland
Present ministry: Retired, assists at Holy Cross Parish, Palmetto, Florida.
Past service: Teacher, DeMatha Catholic High School, Hyattsville, Maryland. Commissioned an Officer in the USN followed by Chaplains School, Newport, Rhode Island. Ordered to the Third Marine Division, Vietnam, followed by duty with the 3rd Battalion 4th Marines, Okinawa. Chaplain, Rahway State Prison, Rahway, New Jersey; US Coast Guard Training Center, Petaluma; Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan; Construction Battalion Center-Seabees, Port Hueneme, California; Naval Support Activity, Naples, Italy; Oakland Naval Hospital, Oakland; (aircraft carrier) USS Carl Vinson, Alameda. Promoted to Captain (1986). Command Chaplain, US Pacific Submarine Force, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego; Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California; US Naval Forces, Rota, Spain.
"Seasoned traveler" might be an understatement to describe Rev. Msgr. Ferraro. Born in Philadelphia in 1942, as a young man he attended Holy Trinity College and St. Mary's Seminary, both in Baltimore. He was ordained to the priesthood May 20, 1967, at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore, Maryland.
But it would seem he did not set down an anchor in one place. His curriculum vitae includes service at Rahway State Prison, which is now known as East Jersey State Prison in Rahway, New Jersey, St. James Parish in Trenton, New Jersey and DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland.
In 1969 he was commissioned an officer in the U.S. Navy, which led to a 30-year career as a Naval chaplain. After Chaplains School in Newport, Rhode Island, he was ordered to the Third Marine Division in Vietnam. After duty there, he followed the 3rd Battalion 4th Marines to Okinawa, Japan.
From 1971 to 1973, he was ordered to serve as chaplain to the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center in Petaluma. From there he served three years as chaplain to Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, Japan.
From 1976 to 1979, he served as chaplain to Construction Battalion Center — Seabees — in Port Hueneme, California, then was selected for postgraduate studies in counseling at University of California, Berkeley.
After that year, he served two years as chaplain at the naval Support Activity in Naples, Italy. He returned stateside in 1982 to serve as chaplain at Oakland Naval Hospital, and after a year, was selected to serve as chaplain on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in Alameda.
His orders then took him to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where he served as command chaplain to the U.S. Pacific Submarine Force from 1986 to 1990. In 1989, he was promoted to the rank of captain.
From 1990 to 1993, he was selected to serve as command chaplain for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, and then served for three years as command chaplain for the Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, California.
His last assignment before retiring from the U.S. Navy was 1996 to 1999, when he served as command chaplain for U.S. Naval Forces in Rota, Spain. It was in 1999 that he was selected by St. John Paul II as honorary prelate, garnering the title of monsignor. That year he was also awarded the Legion of Merit, a military award of the U.S. armed forces that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.
One of the highlights of Monsignor Ferraro's career happened in 1979 when, in his words, "with God's help" Navy Lt. Cmdr. Ferraro saved the lives of three members of a Philippine family. An Oxnard woman barricaded herself in her home and held three family members hostage for hours. The police tried unsuccessfully to contact the woman. Rev. Joseph Ferraro was called in and credited with disarming the distraught woman and the incident ended peacefully. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps medal for heroism.
Rev. Msgr. Ferraro continues to serve the Church in his retirement by assisting at Holy Cross Parish in Palmetto, Florida.
Rev. Richard A. Mangini
Ordination: May 17, 1967
Most Precious Blood Church, Concord
(now known as St. Francis of Assisi Church)
Present ministry: Pastor, St. Bonaventure Church, Concord
Past service: Director of Strategic Planning, Diocese of Oakland. Pastor, St. Leander Church, San Leandro. Administrator, St. Charles Borromeo Church, Livermore. Editor, The Catholic Voice newspaper, Diocese of Oakland. Journalism Studies UCB, St. Patrick, Rodeo. Parochial vicar, Santa Maria Church, Orinda; Church of the Assumption, San Leandro.
"I would have to blame, God." I received my vocation as a small child, perhaps when I started Sunday morning Catechism classes in the old wooden Queen of All Saints Church, Concord in the early 1940s. Those were very pious days of a "settled church." Everything in its proper place until the Free Speech Movements of the mid-sixties.
I breathed in the fresh air of the Second Vatican Council. I have championed innovative church thinking, bringing lay men and women into ministry, enabling Catholics to think, inviting Catholics into a more profound faith and personal relationship with Jesus.
Over the years, I have tried to meet the spiritual and personal needs of thousands of people. I have worked hard and long hours. I see the role of the priest to be a channel of God's life, love and mercy and to encourage the Catholic faithful to be and to do the same. I have enjoyed every moment as a priest and a pastor.
40 Years of Priestly Ministry
Rev. Robert W. Charm
Rev. Fernando J. Cortez
Ordination: October 21, 1977
St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, Oakland
Present ministry: Pastor, St. Jerome Parish, El Cerrito
Past service: Pastor, St. Anthony Parish, Oakley; St. Lawrence O'Toole Parish, Oakland; St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Concord; St. Albert Parish, Alameda. Parochial vicar, St. John the Baptist Parish, El Cerrito; St. Bede Parish, Hayward; St. Peter Martyr Parish, Pittsburg; St. Agnes Parish, Concord; St. Leander Parish, San Leandro; All Saints Parish, Hayward. Vocations director, Diocese of Oakland. Diocesan spiritual director, Cursillo Movement, Diocese of Oakland.
Thank you, family and priests, for supporting my priestly vocation. Thank you, Sulpician Priests of St. Patrick Seminary, for accepting me. I was educated in public schools. Most of my classmates were "lifers," men who entered at fourteen years of age! I had to learn fast.
The Seminary Pastoral Formation program provided the full energy of the Second Vatican Council in action. At Our Lady of the Rosary, Fathers George Crespin and Tony Valdivia provided inspiration to commit to the priesthood. Gracias!
Parish ministry is my vocation, but I want to acknowledge the power of the Cursillo Movement. Thank you Cursillo community for your friendship! I thank Sister Felicia Sarati, CSJ Orange, for her welcome to the Chautauqua liturgies and the Ethnic Catholic communities of Oakland.
Priesthood develops through challenges and opportunities. I prepared to serve English- and Spanish-speaking faithful. Thanks to the Portuguese faithful who accepted me as well. Finally, my gratitude to all the women leaders of the Church for your collaboration and leadership over the years!
Rev. Michael J. Dodds, OP
Birthplace: Des Moines, Iowa
Ordination: April 23, 1977
St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, Oakland
Present ministry: Vicar Provincial, Western Dominican Province. Professor of Theology, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley.
Past service: Teacher, Saint Mary's College, Moraga. Academic Dean, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley. Student Master, Western Dominican Province, Oakland.
When I think of my vocation, the word that comes to mind is "service" — following Christ, the high Priest, who came "not to be served but to serve." I have found priestly ministry both exulting and humbling. Often, I have been awed to see the power of the Spirit reaching out through the sacraments (and sometimes through what seems a rather patched together homily) to touch God's people deeply. At such moments, it is not hard to see one is a mere instrument, a stub of pencil God picks up to write a word of love to his people. I have a deep gratitude for my vocation to Dominican life and priesthood and for the many ways I have been nourished through the deep faith, wisdom and love of those whom I am called to serve.
Rev. John Fernandes
Birthplace: Woburn, Massachusetts
Ordination date: April 22, 1977
St. Lawrence O'Toole Church, Oakland
Present ministry: Retired (assist in the Diocese of Oakland and Diocese of Las Vegas)
Past service: Pastoral Year, St. Edward Church, Newark. Deacon, St. Clement Church, Hayward. Parochial vicar, St. Anthony Church, Oakland; St. Leo the Great Church, Oakland; St. Paul Church, San Pablo; St. John the Baptist Church, San Lorenzo; Immaculate Mary Cathedral, St. George, Grenada; Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Brentwood. Parochial administrator, Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Union City; St. Anne Church, Byron; St. Benedict Church, Oakland. Pastor, St. Peter Martyr of Verona Church, Pittsburg; St. Cyril Church, Oakland; St. Paschal Baylon Church, Oakland. Diocese of Montego Bay: Pastor, Holy Name of Jesus Church, Bamboo; Holy Spirit Church, Clardeon; Sacred Heart Church, Concord; St. Anthony Church, Moneaque.
"Aspire to Inspire . . . . Before You Expire," Rev. John Fernandes
I recall my mother's memory of a childhood experience. "John, you played being a priest with your younger brothers and sisters." At the age of nine, I remember a religious order sister who gave me a first communion picture, which featured Christ offering communion to a young boy. It was framed in blue glass and imprinted in my memory. As a young adult, arriving late for the midnight Christmas Mass, I tried to make my way through a crowd in the vestibule. As I approached the entrance of the nave, an elderly lady stepped aside, greeted me as "Father" and excused herself. After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer, a middle-aged-priest asked me to consider priestly service. All of these experiences and many more, supported my call to consider priesthood as a lifestyle. To this day, my heartfelt joy and spiritual stability are reflections of God's Will, Christ's Call and The Holy Spirit's Guidance's through the "People of God." Therefore, I am thankful for all who have and continue to support vocations for the needs of The Church.
25 Years of Priestly Ministry
Rev. Eduardo Fernandez, SJ
Birthplace: El Paso, Texas
Rev. Joseph Antony Sebastian, SVD
Birthplace: Kadiapatanam, Tamil Nadu, India
Ordination: May 2, 1992
Kadiapatanam, Tamil Nadu, India
Present ministry: Pastor, St. Joachim Church, Hayward
Past service: Co-pastor, Motakondur, Nalgonda (Diocese) A.P., India. Visiting lecturer in Philosophy, Vidya Niketan, Mysore, India. Pastor, St. John De Britto Church, Bayyaram, Hyderabas (Diocese), India. Principal, St. Arnold's Jr. College, Mederametla, India; St. Mary's High School, Sadashivpet, Medak (Dt), A.P., India; St. Clare High School, Ramagundan, A.P., India. Pastor, St. Thomas Church, Sadashivpet, Hyderabad (Diocese), A.P., India. SVD District Superior, Sangareddy region, A.P., India. Pastor, Kundrathur Catholic Mission, Chenglepet (Diocese), T.N., India. Co-pastor, Mission San Antonio de Pala, Pala, California (San Diego Diocese).
I was born in Kadiapatanam, located in the southern-most part of India. It is a big village of fishermen who are Catholics. The entire village was converted to Catholicism by St. Francis Xavier in 1544. Since the entire village is Catholic, the pastor is not only the head of the church but also of the entire village. Like most children in the village, I too, went regularly for the daily Mass. When I was studying 4th standard, one day while waiting for the daily Mass to begin, our pastor, coming from the confessional asked me to stand up. With fear I stood up thinking that he was going to punish me for some mischief I must have done the previous day. Contrary to my thinking, he told me to go to the sacristy to dress up and serve at the Mass. From that day on until I finished VII grade, I served as an altar boy every day with so much of dedication. Immediately after I completed my VII grade, an SVD priest who was assigned to our village to undergo pastoral experience asked me whether I wanted to become a priest. When I expressed my desire to go to seminary to my family, they reluctantly agreed to my wish since I was the last of the five children.
Taking into consideration my excellent academic performance in different universities, our Society wanted me to be a professor in the seminary and began to train me. I was given the task of teaching Philosophy to our seminarians even while studying Theology. However, immediately after my ordination, when one of our mission parishes was closed due to some problem, I was requested by my superiors to go there for a year and to revive the parish. With the grace of God, when I succeeded to solve the problem, my superiors requested me to take up educational apostolate so that I could be always available in the mission. That proposal took me to a new direction in my field of ministry — to the field of school education and parish ministry, which I truly enjoyed. I am so grateful to my superiors who, right from the beginning of my priesthood, felt confident in me and entrusted to me important parishes and schools. And I think I did not disappoint them.
While serving as the principal of one of our high schools in India I was asked by the provincial here in California whether I would be interested to come to the United States and work. As usual I said "yes" and that brought me to the U.S. I served as an associate pastor for a year and a half in Pala, San Diego diocese. In June 2011 I was transferred to St. Joachim Church in Hayward as the pastor. It is such a joy to serve as the pastor of St. Joachim Church where people are so affectionate, generous and full of faith. To be a priest and to lead the people in prayer and worship is what I enjoy the most. And I thank God for choosing me and providing me that exceptional opportunity.
The following priests who have served in the Oakland diocese are also observing a major anniversary of ordination this year:
Rev. Sean Murray, CSSR
Rev. Michael A. Joyce
Rev. Michael Robert Carey, OP
Rev. Edward Leo Krasevac, OP
Rev. Henry Ormond, O Carm
Rev. Fred A. Riccio
Rev. Bruce Kevin Cecil, CSC
back to top
|Copyright © 2017 The Catholic Voice, All Rights Reserved. Site design by Sarah Kalmon-Bauer.|