Beloved pastor, 'a guiding light to many' Reverend Monsignor Ferdinando Donato Berardi, age 71, Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church, Staten Island, New York passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, January 11, 2022. He is predeceased by his beloved parents, brothers and sisters-in-law, Vincenzo and Leonarda Berardi, Rocco Berardi and his wife Paula, Vito Berardi, Frank Berardi and his wife Eileen, and Ralph Berardi. He is survived by his loving brother, Luciano Berardi and his wife Maryanne, and his sisters Vincenza Melluso and her husband Orazio, Rita Lombardo and her husband Giuseppe, and sisters-in-law, Mary Berardi and Rosetta Berardi. Msgr. Berardi was also an adored and loving uncle who leaves behind 21 nieces and nephews, many great nieces and nephews, one great-great nephew, as well as many devoted cousins (both here in the United States and in Italy), extended family and countless friends. Msgr. Berardi was born in Ruvo di Puglia, Italy on September 18, 1950 and moved to the United States as a child in 1958. As a little boy, he used to pray the daily Rosary with his mother and at a young age he knew he had a calling to the priesthood. He attended Mount Carmel – St. Benedicta Grammar School, Cathedral Preparatory High School, and in 1969 earned a Bachelors of Arts degree from Cathedral College in Douglaston, New York. Four years later he served as a Deacon at St. Vito's Church and then went on to receive a master's degree in divinity from St. Joseph's Seminary, as well as a master's degree in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1977. He was ordained a priest at St. Patrick's Cathedral on November 5th of that same year. After his ordination, Msgr. Berardi served as an Associate Pastor at Blessed Sacrament Church, Staten Island and moved on to pursue a graduate degree at the Pontifical College of San Anselmo in Rome, Italy in 1981. After earning his doctorate degree in Sacred Theology in 1982, he was appointed Vice Chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York. In 1995 he was elevated to Msgr. and became Director of the Office of Spiritual Development at St. Joseph's Seminary in Dunwoodie, New York. He was later appointed to serve as Director of the Propagation of the Faith in New York City where he spent eight years. From there, he was assigned as Pastor of Holy Family Church in New Rochelle. In 2013, he was designated as Superior of the Casa Di Santa Maria in Rome, Italy and in 2019 he became Pastor at Blessed Sacrament Church in Staten Island, New York. Known to most as "Father Fred", Msgr. Berardi spent his life dedicated to the Catholic Church, his congregation, his family and his friends. Despite his busy life he was always ready to offer advice, help those in need, and he was a guiding light for all of those who were blessed to have known him. He was never too busy to write a recommendation letter, give a blessing, or share stories over a good meal and a glass of wine. In his free time, Msgr. Berardi enjoyed reading all types of books; he was an avid Yankee fan, and loved spending time with his devoted family, cherished life-long friends and faithful parishioners. He was a true servant of God and even though his untimely passing leaves us with a heavy heart, as a man of great faith we know he is now at home with our Lord. He touched the lives of so many people and he will be truly missed and never be forgotten. Please join us in celebrating Msgr. Berardi's life. Funeral from the Matthew Funeral Home Inc., 2508 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY. Visitation will be held on Sunday, January 16th from 3pm to 6pm at Blessed Sacrament Church, 30 Manor Road Staten Island, NY followed by Mass at 6pm. A Funeral Mass will be held at Blessed Sacrament Church on Monday, January 17th at 10am followed by burial at St. Peter's Cemetery on Clove Road. In lieu of flowers please make donations to Blessed Sacrament Church. Matthew Funeral Home 2508 Victory Blvd Staten Island, NY 10314 (718) 761-5544
Published by Staten Island Advance from Jan. 13 to Jan. 14, 2022.