Father Pomilio Was a Friend to All He Served

Father Pomilio

A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Matthew J. Pomilio, a senior priest of the diocese, was celebrated March 29 at St. Hyacinth Church, Glen Head, L.I.

He died March 23 at Ozanam Hall Nursing Home, Bayside. He was 80.

Born in Brooklyn, he attended Bishop Loughlin H.S., Cathedral College, and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington. He was ordained June 2, 1962 by Bishop Bryan J. McEntegart at St. James Pro-Cathedral in Downtown Brooklyn.

He served as an assistant at St. Rita’s, East New York, 1962-66; St. Rosalia, Bensonhurst, 1966-67; Holy Name, Park Slope, 1967-69; St. Fortunata, East New York, 1969-72; Most Precious Blood, Long Island City, 1972-74; St. Blaise, Crown Heights, 1974-75; and St. Catharine of Alexandria, Borough Park, 1975-78.

From 2000 to 2007, he was assigned as a parochial vicar at St. Joseph’s, Astoria.

In 2007, he retired and moved to a private residence in Jamaica.

He also was involved in counseling ministry and lectured at St. John’s University, Jamaica.

Auxiliary Bishop James Massa was the main celebrant of the funeral Mass. Concelebrants included Fathers Marian Bicz and Jerzy Bres and Msgr. John O’Brien who preached the homily.

“Father Pomilio served a lot of different parishes in his time in the diocese and he tried to make friends with his parishioners everywhere he went,” recalled Msgr. O’Brien. “He was able to make great relationships with people. As he was dying, some of the people coming to visit him were friends from 40 years ago and yet all of them still called him friend.

“Taking from John’s Gospel ‘I no longer call you servants but friends’ is the way Father Pomilio served. He was a friend to all his people.”

The evening prior, Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto was the celebrant and homilist at a Vigil Mass.

Bishop Chappetto said, “I visited him when he was ill. He was suffering but was really trying to accept his suffering and to do it without complaining. He reflected on his life as a priest and was very happy to have been a priest and honored to have the opportunity to serve. He served as both a diocesan and parish priest and was a member of the Pastoral Council. All he wanted to do was to be able help those in need and he was able to help so many people.”

Among the immediate survivors is his sister, Virginia Deguise of Nevada.

Burial was in Pinelawn Memorial Park, Farmingdale, L.I.