Remembering ‘Father Richard’


Please thank Msgr. Thomas J. Shelley for the wonderful article in this week's paper (CNY, Dec. 30). It was my privilege to have known Father Richard Guastella since he arrived at Holy Rosary parish on Staten Island in 1987. He became a legend as the pastor, especially in having a new church built. Even though he became a monsignor in 1995 he always referred to himself as Father Richard. He was devoted to his parish and parishioners. We and he were heartbroken when he was transferred to St. Clare’s in 2008. Still, as the obedient servant, he accepted the change and soon became a legend at St. Clare’s.

He made it a point to know his members and called them by name. We were heartbroken that he suffered and died from Covid-19, but even in his death he showed us how to live. Harry Connick Jr. had a great devotion to Father Richard from when he had him sing in his parish in Manhattan. Father Richard performed the wedding ceremony in New Orleans and baptized all four of his children. Father Richard has risen in glory! Staten Island was blessed by his presence.

Dr. Vincent J. Maligno
Staten Island


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here