TORONTO - There was a relatively large crowd of friends, parishioners past and present, and family to bid Fr. Vito an ADDIO on Saturday. Covid-19 protocols being what they are, restrictions still applied. Nonetheless, people flocked to St Clare, Woodbridge for the funeral. Fr Vito had never been assigned there, but a smaller church would have been insufficient and inadequate for the numbers present.
It was not an ostentatious ceremony; he would not have wanted one. Nevertheless, three bishops and two Monsignors co-celebrated the Mass, while a further forty priests (by our count) filled the Choir among them some notable long serving Monsignors from the Italian community and notables from the cleric orders who have ministered to that community in and around the GTA.
It was an impressive display of thanks recognition for service rendered. Several individuals had clearly interrupted their sojourns in southerly climates to express their gratitude and their sorrow. Their presence will have provided some comfort and lessened the grief of Fr Vito’s Mother and that of his siblings.
When one of the monsignors said, in closing his eulogy “Vito was a good man” many erupted in audible sobbing. Later, after the white doves had been released, in an almost symbolic event, one lonely bird detoured to perch on the inside of the church’s portico, even as the rest of the flock flew to their destination. Some one remarked it was a sign that Vito didn’t want to leave, or that his people wanted him to stay.
The Church needs more good men.
Pics: CNMNG / Corriere Canadese