Dear Editor: I am sure at one time or another many parishioners have felt they have been blessed to have a very special priest assigned to their church. I am fortunate be one of those people who has been blessed to have a very special priest whose pastoral care has been entrusted to my parish of St. Francis of Paola in Williamsburg.
His name is Father Andrew Varano. He came to our parish on Oct. 5, 1970, and was appointed as our pastor in 1987, serving as our spiritual leader until he retired in 2007. From the very beginning, everyone fell in love with this humble man of God. He served us with kindness and compassion. His love for Jesus, His Blessed Mother Mary, St. Francis of Paola and our fellow brothers and sisters has always been evident. During his service as pastor, Father Varano continually kept our parish spiritually strong and finically sound.
Even though Father Varano retired 10 years ago, he continues to serve Jesus and the Church. He was very instrumental in our new parish’s name, Divine Mercy.
Some examples of his support to the Church include adding the installation of a magnificent stained-glass window of the Divine Mercy in the back of the church. He has also contributed a beautiful tapestry that can been seen in the sanctuary at St. Francis of Paola.
Father Varano remains active by celebrating Masses regularly. He can be found saying the bilingual Italian/English Mass at St Francis of Paola, the English Mass at St. Cecilia, and the bilingual Spanish/English Mass at St. Nicholas.
Not only is he a blessing to all of us, but also to our pastor, Father Thomas Vassalotti, and our parochial vicar, Father Rafael Perez, all great, wonderful and holy men of God.
Father Varano lives his life in a way that truly emulates Jesus each and every day. He is a man of prayer, compassion, loving, committed, gentle, patient, forgiving, accepting of all, humble, a true servant of God. Indeed, Father Varano is a very special priest.