DOUGLASTON — Father James Kuroly was installed as the new rector of Cathedral Preparatory School and Seminary, his alma mater, on Nov. 1 during the third annual Inter-seminary Day of Prayer at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, a gathering of local seminarians and those discerning a vocation to the priesthood.
“Certainly the young men have been a tremendous gift for me in my priesthood as I am, as I say, the father of the house, they are spiritual sons,” Father Kuroly, a former pastor of St. Rose of Lima, Rockaway Beach, said. “It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate the friendship, the brotherhood and the love that exists at Cathedral Prep.”
Father Kuroly graduated from the Elmhurst high school in 1998 and served as assistant principal there from 2010-2016. He will replace Father Joseph Fonti, who has served for six years as rector-president. Father Kuroly said his new role comes with both blessings and challenges.
“The biggest challenge on a spiritual level is having the young men understand how much they are loved by God,” he said. “I’m hoping they will believe it and truly accept it so that they can really set the world on fire with that love.”
Students and seminarians came to ICC for the day from Cathedral Prep; the House of Formation and Redemptoris Mater, both in Douglaston; and St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio celebrated the Mass and the rite of installation, where he led a “pledge of mutual responsibility” between Father Kuroly and the Cathedral Prep community.
Meanwhile, the Inter-seminary Day of Prayer was an opportunity for students and seminarians from all levels of formation to gather for fellowship and fun. It started during the Year of Vocations in 2017.
Joseph Hadzovic, a third-year seminarian who is aiming to be ordained in 2022, spoke to the guests about his call to the priesthood. Hadzovic, who attended Xaverian H.S., Bay Ridge, and went to college after that, said that discerning his vocation to serve the church took time, but that the calling was always there.
“Every day I wake up and I sit before the chapel and I ask myself the same question: ‘God what do you want of me?’” he said. “At the core of it, the answer is the same: ‘I want you to follow me, and that’s what it’s really about.’”