Siena Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Jerome Massimino

Beth Hazelton Friar News

Jerome Massimino celebrates 40 years of priesthood with Siena friars, alumni, and friends. (Image courtesy of Beth Hazelton)

NEW YORK – More than 85 Siena College alumni and friends gathered on Jan. 25 at the New York Athletic Club to share memories and to celebrate the 40th ordination anniversary of Jerome Massimino, OFM. The guests at the Thursday evening celebration were welcomed by F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, Siena president since 2014, who opened with a blessing.

With a goal to raise $40,000 for The Fr. Jerome J. Massimino, O.F.M. Scholarship, Siena alumni and friends far exceeded all expectations.

“I owe so much to Fr. Jerome and Siena,” was the repeated message as gifts poured in. By the end of the event, a total of $70,500 was raised for The Fr. Jerome J. Massimino, O.F.M. Scholarship, which awards students with financial need who are active participants in school activities and value the Franciscan charism of service to others.

Throughout the evening, various guests shared their favorite memories or story of Fr. Jerome. Siena Trustee Tom Baldwin, Jr. ’81 asked the crowd, “By a show of hands, how many of us were married or had our children baptized by Fr. Jerome?” The reply was resounding as 90 percent of the people in the room raised their hands.

Jack “Nults” McNulty ’82 credited Jerome for enriching his spiritual life. “I am proud to share my strong relationship with Jesus Christ, my Lord, and Savior, and this is thanks to you, my friend. You set me on this path and I never looked back.”

Trustee Judy Capano-Michaelson shared how the teachings of St. Francis and the Franciscan friars are what make Siena College stand out from other higher education institutions. “There are many places to get a good education. However, it is this feeling we have here tonight that we as trustees wish we could bottle and share. It is this experience of St. Francis, Fr. Jerome, and the friars that make Siena such a wonderful place to be.”

Jerome, a native of New Haven, Conn., worked at Siena College from 1978 to 1990, first as director of the campus ministry for 10 years and then as director of development for special projects.  He is a former member of the Siena College Board of Advisors and Siena College Board of Trustees Development & External Affairs and Student Life committees.

He professed his first vows as a friar in 1974 and his final vows in August 1977, and on Sept. 10, 1977, Jerome was ordained to the priesthood. The scholarship was created on the 25th anniversary of Jerome’s ordination. He has lived at St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla., since 2011.

Beth Hazelton is associate director of development at Siena College.

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