Students at Cathedral Prep Welcome Religious Object of Blessed Rolando Rivi

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Media, Queens, NY

By Katie Vasquez

The students in the Father Troike Summer Leadership Program at Cathedral Prep and Seminary in Elmhurst, Queens are celebrating Mass with one special guest. 

Father James Kuroly, the rector president at Cathedral Prep, was in Northern Italy during Easter week when he noticed portraits of Blessed Rolando Rivi in a church. 

“His face reminded me of the faces of many of our students so I wrote to the church,” Father Kuroly said. “I told [them] who we were as a high school and a place for young men to discern God’s call and as a gift to the school they had given us this relic.”

During his homily, he explained the story of the seminarian, a man he hopes these young catholics will view as a hero. 

“When the seminary closed, because of World War II, he continued to wear the cassock and his mother said please take it off because we don’t want you to be a victim,” Father Kuroly said. “He said ‘I can’t because I belong to Christ.’”

Rivi was only 14 when he was executed by fascists who declared there would be “one less future priest.”

It was something that struck a chord with students.

“Oftentimes in the matter of faith, the strongest flames often die out the fastest,” Kevin Wilfinger, a student at Cathedral Prep said.

“It is inspirational because it shows you a guy who really didn’t back down with what his religion was, what his beliefs were,” Joshua Francisco, a student at Cathedral Prep said. “It showed us that no matter what dark times are there, there’s always a light somewhere.”

Each of these young men were able to venerate the relic, a piece of a man not unlike themselves.

“The fact that you’re able to walk up to it, and just like you know, most people never get a chance to touch a piece of someone’s hair, a sliver of their heart, or something like that,” Gabriel Lopez, a student at Cathedral Prep said. “It was special like that.”