NEW YORK — A scholarship in memory of Angelo Gambatese, OFM, who died last month, has been established by members of the St. Stephen of Hungary Parish community on the Upper East Side where the friar had been stationed for 12 years.
Close to 500 people attended a Feb. 28 Mass and reception at the church on East 82nd Street at which the scholarship for students of St. Stephen of Hungary School was announced.
The scholarship will benefit students attending the Catholic school that is affiliated with St. Stephen Parish, which Holy Name Province friars staffed until less than two years ago. St. Stephen of Hungary School, which opened in 1928, has roughly 350 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.
“Many people are committed to having Fr. Angelo’s legacy not only stay alive but to flourish and always be a reminder to the community of who he was, what he did for people, and what was important to him,” said Marc Farina, a former chair of the pastoral council of St. Stephen of Hungary Parish which Holy Name Province staffed for 80 years.
“Two very tangible things that Fr. Angelo wanted to achieve were offering a scholarship annually to a qualified student who lacks the means to attend St. Stephen of Hungary School and helping families who come upon an economic hardship not have to consider removing their child from the school,” continued Farina. “Katherine Peck, former head of school, and I have been working hard to make this happen and it’s really an honor to fulfill these wishes of Fr Angelo.”
“This was a mission of the community,” according to Farina, who was among parishioners, parents of schoolchildren and friends of Angelo who worked to establish the scholarship. “In just a few short weeks since his passing, enough money has been raised to provide a scholarship to a student. That’s outstanding. And we want the scholarship fund to be in place in perpetuity — to outlast all of us. This truly helps our community and it’s a great tribute to Fr. Angelo. We know he smiles when he sees what’s happening.”
Last month’s Mass was celebrated by Fr. Donald Baker, pastor of St. Monica Parish, which last summer absorbed St. Stephen of Hungary Parish and the nearby St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish.
Information about the scholarship can be found online on the St. Stephen School Foundation website which says that Angelo, pastor of Saint Stephen of Hungary Church, “from 2000-2013 taught the St. Stephen of Hungary community compassion, kindness and tolerance. He believed that all students regardless of their socio-economic status should have access to a St. Stephen of Hungary School education. The Father Angelo Gambatese Scholarship Fund has been established to ensure that Fr. Angelo’s legacy of welcoming all students to our community lives on at St. Stephen of Hungary School.”
Contributions can be made to the fund both online and by mail using this address: St. Stephen of Hungary School Foundation, 1562 1st Ave, Suite 114, New York, NY 10028.
— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.
- “Friars Celebrate St. Stephen Parish History with Mass of Thanksgiving” — Dec. 16, 2014, HNP Today
- “College Creates Endowment Named for Peter Fiore” — Aug. 23, 2013, HNP Today
- “The New York Times Features St. Stephen of Hungary School” — Aug. 29, 2012, HNP Today
- “St. Stephen of Hungary Parish Hosts Cardinal” — Feb. 4, 2009, HNP Today