I had the pleasure recently to meet Fr. Peter Purpura, the newest member of the Pastoral Staff at Our Lady of Hope. I had heard much about Fr. Peter and I have to say that when I met him he lived up to his reputation of being personable and friendly. In a word, Fr. Peter is easy to talk to, stands 6’ 6” tall and in response to my question as to why he isn’t playing basketball and making millions, he stated, “I’m not tall enough!”

Fr. Peter arrived at Our Lady of Hope in mid-June of 2010 after spending the last seven years in Rome, Italy where he completed his formation for the priesthood and pursued post-ordination studies. I asked him how long he thinks he will be at Our Lady of Hope and Fr. Peter stated that there is no time limit on his tenure, it is open-ended and so, could be any number of years.

Fr. Peter is anxious to insert himself into the life of the community and get to know the neighborhood residents. He said that he wants to plug in to existing programs at Hope, particularly, the parish school and athletic program. Communities with parishes in the Diocese of Brooklyn have been traditionally built around these two programs so Fr. Peter was grateful to discover that they are both strong and thriving in Our Lady of Hope.

Fr. Peter stated that he always looks forward to Sunday Mass and its prayerful connection to Our Lady of Hope parishioners. He hopes that through the prayerful celebration of the Sunday Mass we may all grow in our faith and desire to serve God more faithfully in our daily lives.

Fr. Peter’s resume is quite impressive with much accomplishment for his young years. He was born on August 1, 1981 to Catherine and Peter Purpura and he is the fifth child in a family of seven children. His hometown is Breezy Point, New York where he attended grammar school at St. Francis de Sales in Belle Harbor. He went on to Archbishop Molloy High School and graduated in the Class of 1999. He then attended St. John’s University where he earned a University Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. His Seminary Studies included the Cathedral Seminary Residence of the Immaculate Conception Douglaston, Queens and the Pontifical North American College, Vatican City State from 2003 to 2007.

Fr. Peter was ordained a deacon on October 5, 2006 at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City State. He was ordained a priest on June 30 2007 at St. James Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. His advanced studies include Bachelors in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome Italy in 2006, and a Licentiate in Canon Law from The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in 2009. In September 2009 he was nominated to enter the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, Rome, Italy in preparation for the diplomatic service of the Holy See. Fr. Peter is currently a candidate for a Doctorate in Canon Law at The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome Italy.

We wish Fr. Peter the best of luck at Our Lady of Hope. Future articles will be written by Fr. Peter himself as he maps his future. It is obvious that his strong faith, a desire to serve and his spiritual connection to God will guide him through this new assignment. We have no doubt that the friendly parishioners at Hope will embrace his efforts as he embarks on his new journey. God Bless Fr. Peter Purpura and welcome to Middle Village!