Letters to the Editor

Our Great Homilists

These letters are part of an ongoing discussion that began with an editorial, “Need for Good Homilies,” published in the Feb. 7 issue. You can find the complete archive here.

Dear Editor: I was happy that the preaching of Father Andrew Varrano got a shout out from a parishioner, but I am not a bit surprised. In the late ’40s and ’50s, Andy and I were classmates in Cathedral High School, College and (in my case for three years) Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington.

He had a wonderful voice then — rich and resonant —and I expect has it still, perhaps slightly cracked after 60 years. (I have firsthand experience of cracked voices.)

We did a production of Part I of T. S. Eliot’s “Murder in the Cathedral” in which he played the Second Tempter. I can still hear him warning Becket to seize political power or wind up isolated, “the old stag circled with hounds.” Memories are at the flood. Well done, Andy.

Bay Ridge


Dear Editor: My parish, Our Lady of the Snows, North Floral Park, is blessed with three priests who are committed and selfless and it is their dedication that makes the parish what it is – vibrant, warm, welcoming and loving.

Each one of the priests delivers great homilies. Pastor Father Kevin McBrien speaks with so much love, sincerity and wisdom; it is a joy to listen to him. Young Father Jeremy Canna, in his first assignment after ordination, is excellent at homilies. His wisdom and insight into the Word of God is far beyond his age, and he delivers his homily with crisp, fluent and very effective oratory.  Father Ray Nacino’s homilies always have a lot of punch.

We at the parish are grateful for what they do, and pray for them.

Little Neck


Dear Editor: I would also like to add my two cents as to whom I consider to be good homilists.

We parishioners of Williamsburg were blessed and lucky to hear the late Father Vincent Termine when he was at St. Francis of Paola Church.

Father Kevin Abels; Father Joseph Fonti, former pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel; and current pastor, Msgr. Joseph Calise, are also great.



Dear Editor: We are blessed in the Borough of Churches to have a number of priests who are wonderful homilists. Week after week, they encourage, inspire and sustain the flocks they serve.

While several priests come to mind, the homily I will never forget was given by Father Dennis McAuliffe on the treasure in the field.

Bay Ridge

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