Father Shibi Pappan, Pastor
My official name is Fr. Shibi Pappan and my religious name is Fr. Aloysius OIC. This is my 14th year as a priest and 25th year as a professed religious. I was born and raised in Kerala, a southwestern State in India. Kerala is known as “God’s own country” because of its natural beauty, ecological diversity and rich flora and fauna. The people of India have been nurtured through the work of an Apostle, Saints and Missionaries. St. Thomas the Apostle came to Kerala in 52 AD, preached the Gospel and paved the foundation of Christianity in India.
As a young seminarian, I had the good fortune to be trained by missionaries from Europe. I completed my Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and Theology from the Jesuit Papal Seminary in Pune, India. I hope you were able to read about my family, my education and my pastoral background in an earlier bulletin.
On June 22, 2020, Rev. Ed Sheridan called me while I was praying near the Blessed Mother's statue on the grounds of St. Joseph Church in Garden City. He informed me of the Bishop’s decision to appoint me as the Administrator of St. Ignatius Loyola Church. I was very surprised. I then turned to the Blessed Mother and asked how is it possible to be a Pastoral Administrator of a great Parish during this strange time? There are so many things that are uncertain and difficult to deal with right now. I know that the providence of the Lord brought me to this land and He has a plan for me; His grace is sufficient for me!
I came to the USA in 2014 without a deep understanding of the American culture. There was pain in my transition and culture shock. St. Patrick’s Church in Smithtown became my second home. The nurturing of Msgr. Ellsworth Walden, Rev. Fred Hill, Rev. David Regan, Rev. Sean Magaldi, Rev. Deacon Jerry Reda, the late Rev. Harold Noviello and the late Rev. Deacon Rich Janiec made my transitional journey easy and exciting. Their blessings and the affection of the parishioners and staff led me to where I am now.
I am so proud that I have been a part of St. Joseph Church in Garden City. Msgr. James Swiader guided and sharpened my God-given skills; Rev. Prasanna Costa encouraged me with his brotherly love and Rev. Deacon Jack McKenna supported me with kindness. Once my appointment was announced, several of the St. Joseph’s parishioners reminded me of their special connection with St. Ignatius. A number of priests were transferred from St. Joseph's to St. Ignatius including Msgr. Bennett. I thank the staff, Rev. Sisters of St. Joseph Convent and parishioners for supporting me with their prayers and assistance.
In this year of uncertainty, a leadership change may find us anxious and even fearful of what the future will be. I want to assure you that I am here to continue the legacy of St. Ignatius Parish, one that is cherished, formed and built by the sacrifices of several generations. It is important that we continue to turn to God in all of our struggles. He is the source of all goodness. As a priest, my first priority is to be your “cura” curer of souls. Let us walk together as a family, pray and strengthen each other. Please let me know what I can do to serve you for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls.
Father Jacob Varughese
I am Fr. Jacob Varughese born on 25th May 1975 . I am from India, Kerala and my father is Mr. Varughese Abraham and my mother is Mrs. Mariamma Varughese. I have two brothers and three sisters. My father was a lay apostle and his duty was to visit the various parishes and proclaim the word of God and my mother is a house wife.
I ordained as a priest on November 24th 2004 after my theological and philosophical studies in Pune. My first appointment was as house minister in Trivandrum Kerala for six months and I was asked by the provincial to go and serve the community in West Bengal, North India. There I served as pastor of the parish and served as the vice principal in the school. During this time I completed Masters in public administration. I came back to Kerala and I was appointed as the pastor of three parishes there. During this time I completed my studies in Bachelor in Education. After three years in parish I was appointed as the Principal of Mar Ivanios Bethany School and Pastor of another parish near to the school. During this period I completed my Masters in Social Science. After two years in the school I was asked to take charge as administrator of Bethany college of Education, Bethany Navajeevan Matriculation School and Bethany Navajeevan CBSE School in Tamil Nadu. During this period I completed my Masters in Education. From there I was elected as the Chief Finance Officer of the Bethany Navajeevan Province and I served in that post for six years continuously. My term as chief finance office ended in 2021 I was appointed as the administrator of Mount Bethany School in Kerala till April 15, 2022. From April 20, 2022 I am appointed as the associate pastor in St. Ignatius of Loyola Church, Hicksville.
Fr. Francis Assisi Samuel, OIC
The motto of St. Ignatius of Loyola was ad maiorem Dei gloriam (for the greater glory of God). I believe the purpose of my life and my new assignment to St. Ignatius Parish is for the same reason. I am humbled and privileged to serve St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish Family. Please pray for me as I have been praying for you during my prayers and the Holy Eucharist.
My family immigrated to the USA in the 1980s. We are seven children. Four of us are American citizens. My eldest sister is a nun (Sr. Mary Agnes, PCPA). She belongs to the Perpetual Adoration Monastery in Kerala, India. She has been coming to visit us occasionally, especially when my mom was sick. Unfortunately, my mom passed away recently; she was 99 years young! My father passed away when we were young children. My mom raised us all by herself and gave us an excellent education. Her profound faith and exemplary spiritual life influenced us deeply. No wonder my eldest sister and I have dedicated our lives for the ministry of the people of God.
I was born and brought up in Kerala, India. I did my priestly studies at the Papal Athenaeum (Seminary) Pune. Like Fr. Shibi, I belong to the Order of the Imitation of Christ (O.I.C.). We are also known as Bethany Fathers. I was ordained on September 21, 1972. I have a licentiate degree in philosophy (L. Ph.), a master’s degree in English Literature and a master’s degree in Educational Psychology both from the University of Scranton, PA, and a Ph. D. in Education Administration and Supervision from Fordham University, NY.
In India, I worked as a missionary, taught in high school, and served as a principal. At the college level, I have taught at Fordham University and was the Chair of the Department of Secondary Education at Dowling College and retired from there a few years ago. I have written and published several books in education. I enjoy literature, philosophy, theology, and photography and have published in these fields.
I have served as an associate pastor at St. Lawrence Church, Sayville from 1986- 95, St. James Church, Seaford, 1995- 02, and served St. Joseph Parish as a Resident/Associate Pastor from 2002- 20. I am now honored and blessed to serve the faith family of St. Ignatius of Loyola. As a religious priest, I am committed to serve the people of God and try to find God in everything and everyone, especially the least privileged among us. May God bless us all!
Fr. Benjamin Uchenna Uzuegbunam
Rev. Fr. Benjamin Uchenna Uzuegbunam was born and brought up in the South East of Nigeria in West Africa - the part of Nigeria (known as Igbo land) with almost 90% Catholic population. Thanks to the Irish missionaries who brought the catholic faith to the Igbo people in 1885. Fr. Benjamin was ordained a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Nnewi on July 3rd 1992. Before coming to the United States, Fr. Benjamin worked as a pastor in different parishes in Nigeria (with other diocesan pastoral assignment) for twelve years. Fr. Benjamin had both his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Counseling and Pastoral studies in the United States of America. Fr. Benjamin is a Board Certified Chaplain and presently works as the Hospital chaplain at the Plainview Hospital in Nassau County. Fr. Benjamin became part of the St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Parish (family) in June 2013. Fr. Ben likes reading, music, dancing and sports.