by Dyanne Rosado
We met in the sitting room of the St. Charles Borromeo Rectory on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in early October of 2008.
Father Ed, as you know, parish members would like to ask about your experience and prior parishes, so I have some traditional and other unconventional interview questions.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I was born and raised in Nassau County, Long Island; in Glen Cove.
Q: How long have you been a priest?
A: I was a Marist Brother for 21 years. I was a professor at St. Francis University in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The chaplain for the campus asked me to join a group that he was forming as a Campus Ministry Board to consult with him and give advice, in order to draw students in to the Campus Ministry and chapel. The priest unfortunately died one day when he was out jogging; he had a known heart condition and died of a heart attack. At that time the Bishop of Fort Wayne asked me to coordinate the Campus Ministry. In that capacity I began to serve students in another way. I was guiding students in their spiritual needs not their educational life, as I had as a professor. This experience led me to feel a call to the priesthood. In response to that, I prayed and discerned that the Spirit was calling me to do ministry in a different way, as a priest.
Q: Prior to coming to St. Charles where were you living and working?
A: Prior to coming to St. Charles I was the Pastor of St. Gerard Majella Parish in Hollis, New York – in Queens for 10 years.
Q: What has surprised you about St. Charles?
A: The warmth and friendliness of the people of the Parish. They are very kind and welcoming.
Q: In your experience, moving from parish to parish, what is one thing that remains the same in each community, no matter how different they seem to be?
A: One thing that is universal is the worship experience; the commonality is the way the Mass is celebrated. It is both a commonality and a distinguishing variable. For example, at St. Francis Xavier, St. Gerard and here the thread that runs through the worship service is singing. The singing at St. Gerard was more Caribbean and Hispanic in orientation; St. Charles and St. Francis, on the other hand, have more of a classical religious tradition in their music. Another variable that differentiates is what I would call the worship space or location. St. Gerard’s is a church within a school building while; St. Charles is a church in a neogothic building. Worship is the same but the churches tend to vary. St. Charles developed from an 1800s immigrant population while St. Gerard’s is an early 1900’s Irish American and German population.
Q: As a new Brooklynite, what is a favorite thing about Brooklyn?
A: The diversity of the people. Glen Cove is very homogeneous, white, and middle class. Brooklyn is very diverse and culturally enriching.
Q: Is there something else that you would like to share with your new community?
A: I would like to share my dream or goal in being here. My primary goal as a priest is to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to evangelize the Parish. I believe that evangelization is part of a process or part of a call to holiness. Being holy is the first and most important step in evangelization. Sharing holiness and sharing Jesus with family and friends and neighbors is the second step in fulfilling our baptismal call. One of our strengths in evangelization at St. Charles is a beautiful Church that uses art to convey the presence of God. We need to use that beautiful, magnificent ambiance to bring people, to help them experience the holiness of our church.
Q: Thank you Father Ed, now one last question, what is one little known or unexpected fact about you?
A: (Laughing) I am a star football player!