There are two main reasons why Our Lady of The Assumption parishioners can be excited about their new pastor, Monsignor Anthony Marchitelli. First, he has worked in Catholic schools for the past 32 years. Second, he’s a Bronx native.
Monsignor Marchitelli, who spent his formative years in Melrose and Soundview, was named OLA’s newest pastor in June. His first day on the job was Friday, July 1. But with the school year just beginning, Monsignor Marchitelli, 61, knows some of the biggest challenges lie ahead.
He replaces the popular Monsignor Donald Dwyer, who was regional vicar of the east Bronx and had served OLA as pastor since 1995.
Coincidentally, Monsignor Dwyer and Monsignor Marchitelli were seminary classmates at Cathedral College in eastern Queens. The two stayed in loose contact over the years.
“He told me it’s a great parish,” Monsignor Marchitelli said. “But I had known that before. OLA has always had a great reputation for being a good parish. I was very pleased when the archbishop said he wanted to send me here.”
Monsignor Dwyer was relocated to Rye, New York as part of an archdiocese policy of rotating pastors every few years. His 16 at OLA was an extraordinarily long tenure for a pastor.
Monsignor Marchitelli spent 17 years at St. Joseph’s by-the-sea High School on Staten Island. He left in 1998 to become principal at Kennedy Catholic High School in northern Westchester. He stayed there until 2003, when he became principal at Archbishop Stepinac in White Plains.
But after more than three decades, Monsignor Marchitelli decided he had enough education experience and told the archdiocese that he wanted to be a pastor. OLA is his first experience in that role.
“It’s a very pleasant atmosphere here. They’ve made me feel very welcome,” Monsignor Marchitelli said.
“It’s talking to you not as ‘the boss’ but ‘one of us’ here in the parish.”
Despite his years of experience in education, Monsignor Marchitelli said students and parents should not expect any major changes in the near future.
“I’m not going to do anything different for a while,” the Cardinal Hayes High School alum said.“You don’t go in immediately and start making changes. That’s never wise. There’s nothing that’s perfect, but certainly no changes in the immediate future.”
Nevertheless, OLA’s school will be a main focal point for Monsignor Marchitelli.
“I’ll be pushing the school, in terms of enrollment, performance, everything,” he said.
©2011 Community News Group