Former Director of Diaconate Office Was a ‘True Witness’

Deacon Licata

A Mass of Christian Burial for Deacon Salvatore V. Licata, a retired deacon of the diocese, was celebrated Aug. 23 at St. Ann’s Church, Flushing. He died Aug. 17 at the age of 89.

Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros was the main celebrant of the funeral Mass.  The homily was preached by Deacon Rich Gilligan.

A U.S. Army veteran, Deacon Licata had a business degree from NYU. After a 30-year career in business, he entered the diaconate formation program and was ordained March 23, 1985.

He served at St. Ann’s parish, Flushing, and Holy Child Jesus parish, Richmond Hill.

He also was the director of the diocese’s diaconate office that oversaw the formation of future deacons.

“He followed Msgr. Tahaney in that role,” said Deacon Gilligan. “It was a time of a lot of stress because not everyone knew what to do with deacons. They made the diaconate into what it is today.”

Deacon Gilligan explained that “if I talk about Sal, I have to talk about Clo (his wife). The spiritual work they did together was incredible. They brought the Eucharist to those who needed it, to the nursing homes and homebound. The Eucharist was so important to them.”

In his later years, physical problems slowed him, but Deacon Gilligan said he was able to continue ministering because “he trusted God. He was a true witness to the Gospel. He was real.”

Deacon Licata was predeceased by his wife Clotilde, to whom he was married for 67 years. He is survived by their five children, Stephen, Michael, James, Susan and Christine, and their families.

Burial was in St. John’s Cemetery, Middle Village.