A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Michael R. Parisi, former director of the Religious Consultation Center, was celebrated Feb. 1 at St. Kevin’s Church, Flushing.
He died Jan. 30 at L.I. Jewish Hospital. He was 85.
Born in Brooklyn, he was baptized at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Williamsburg. He attended Cathedral College, Brooklyn, and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, L.I. He was ordained June 4, 1955 by Archbishop Thomas E. Molloy at St. James Pro-Cathedral, Downtown Brooklyn.
He served as an assistant at St. Francis of Paola, Williamsburg, 1955-57; Our Lady of Solace, Coney Island, 1957-58; St. Rita, East New York, 1958; St. Blaise, Crown Heights, 1958-63; St. Frances de Chantal, Borough Park, 1963-70; St. Nicholas, Williamsburg, 1970-73; Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Ridgewood, 1973-77; St. Thomas Aquinas, Park Slope, 1977-80; and St. Teresa, Woodside, 1980-84.
From 1984 to 1992, he served as pastor of St. Rocco’s parish, Sunset Park.
He earned a Ph.D. from Fordham University, Manhattan, in 1987.
Named director of the Religious Consultation Center, Douglaston, in 1992, he served in that capacity until 2010. During that time, he lived at Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians rectory, Woodside, and then St. Kevin’s, Flushing.
He moved into the Bishop Mugavero Residence for senior priests last year.
Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto was the main celebrant of the funeral Mass. Special concelebrants included Msgr. D. Joseph Finnerty and Fathers James Massa, John Costello and Louis J. DeGaetano. Msgr. William Gill preached the homily.
Father Parisi and Msgr. Gill were classmates at the seminary in Huntington and were ordained to the priesthood on the same day nearly 60 years ago.
Msgr. Gill said Father Parisi dealt with health issues as soon as he was ordained.
“He (Father Parisi) was never totally well, but he never let that affect him,” said Msgr. Gill, in residence at the Basilica Parish of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Southampton, L.I. “He tried as hard as he could to be still a faithful priest. He was always conscious of bettering himself so he could better serve the people.”
Msgr. Gill recalled a conversation with Father Parisi as the latter began to lose his sight.
“He (Father Parisi) said, ‘I’m not able to celebrate Mass.’ That’s what he missed; that was his priority,” Msgr. Gill said. “He was a faithful priest until the day of his death.”
Immediate survivors include his sister Connie Caputo of Bayville, L.I., and his brother Anthony Parisi.
Burial was in St. John’s Cemetery, Middle Village.