Our Spotlight for this issue of the Juniper Berry shines on the new pastor of Our Lady of Hope Church in Middle Village, Reverend Michael Carrano. I interviewed Father Carrano recently and this is his story.

Father Carrano was born in 1945 in Brooklyn, New York. His father died when he was seven years old and his mother was 97 years old when she passed. He has a sister who lives in Arizona and a deceased identical twin brother.

Father Carrano attended Our Lady of Loreto grade school, Bishop Loughlin High School and graduated from St. Francis College with a BA in history. When he made the decision to be a priest he attended the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington Long Island and he was ordained in 1970.

His first assignment was at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Brooklyn. He was then chosen by the Bishop to study at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC where he earned a Masters Degree.

In 1976 he became the principal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Williamsburg and in 1979 he was sent to Sacred Hearts-St. Stephen in Carroll Gardens to be a parish priest. While there he attended Fordham University where he earned a Masters in religious education.

In 1992 Bishop Daly appointed Father Carrano as Diocesan Director of Youth Ministry for the parish youth programs, high school religious programs and where the Diocese had chaplains in non-religious colleges.

In 2000 Father Carrano become the pastor of the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Brooklyn Heights where he is widely credited with building up Assumption’s membership and outreach ministries over the past nine years. In 2009 when Monsignor Sivillo retired, Father Carrano was assigned as pastor of Our Lady of Hope.

Assignment to Our Lady of Hope
In answer to the question as to what his main goal is at Our Lady of Hope Father Carrano stated that he hopes “to maintain the tremendous and hospitable traditions of Our Lady of Hope and build on that and the fact that the people are very warm, friendly and generous.”

He stated that Our Lady of Hope is an excellent school, the principal and the faculty are great, and so is the religious program. He further stated that the sports program under the direction of Nora Nolan is excellent and the many organizations and groups of the neighborhood are the strength of our community.

Father Carrano had his installation at Our Lady of Hope on Sunday, October 18th, 2009 in a Mass celebrated by Most Reverend Joseph M. Sullivan DD Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn.

As the writer of this article I can tell you that Father Carrano is a very humble man and totally uncomfortable talking about himself. When I mentioned that I had read that he was a tremendous spiritual help to the firefighters of Engine 205/Ladder 118 after the 9/11 disaster, he didn’t want to talk about it stating, “that’s for you to write about, if you so choose.”

Well, I so choose to tell you that Father Carrano comforted the surviving firefighters in Engine 205/Ladder 118 who had lost eight of their colleagues in the 9/11 attack by visiting their firehouse every day. He was described in newspaper reports as a rock for the men of Engine 205/Ladder118. At the time it was reported that Father Carrano made the following statement, “Thank you to the men of 118 and 205. Every day it has been my pleasure to be with them for the hope, joy and inspiration they bring to me.”

One could conclude from that statement that Father Carrano benefited just as much from the spiritual strength he gave to the firefighters and the strength they gave him in return during that terribly difficult time.

Father Carrano noted that it has only been four months since he has been at Our Lady of Hope and he stated that time will tell his story. I have no doubt that the community will be there to support his efforts as pastor of Our Lady of Hope Church and School in these very challenging times.

Father Carrano has a humility that is the distinguishing characteristic of his personality and that quality will define his leadership as he guides his parishioners into the future. His final quote to me was that he will “leave it up to time and Almighty God to move us forward in positive and spiritual ways.”

The Juniper Park Civic Association welcomes Father Carrano to our neighborhood and we wish him well as he writes his own future and maps his own journey.