Born on October 23, 1947, grew up with his family on Staten Island, New York City, USA where he remembers special times of Sunday Gatherings with his Italian family and friends. As a child he loved beach parties and riding the Cyclone Roller Coaster at Coney Island.
While other grade two boys dreamed of being a policeman, Astronaut or Firefighter, this young man knew he wanted to be a Priest. With this goal in mind he set forth into the world to pursue his dream. After finishing grade 8 the young Sam entered High school and College by joining a Religious Community of Italian Origin. It was named the Missionary of St. Charles Romeo also know as the Scalabrini Fathers. After graduation he studied Theology at the University of Toronto. In his 2nd year of study He left the Community and was invited to join the Archdiocese of Winnipeg where he met with Cardinal George Bernard Flahiff who accepted him as a student.
Father Sam was ordained at St Edward the Confessor Parish on Arlington St in Winnipeg, MB on February 15, 1979. He remembers that day vividly as it was -42 below zero and with the wind chill of -50, just another typical Manitoba winter.
His ministry started at St. Peter’s Parish on Keewatin, where he worked for 5 months, he was ordained a deacon at this parish on May 13, 1978. He was transferred to St Edward the confessor on August 1, 1978 where he was associate pastor until 1982 and then became the pastor. He remained there until 1990. On July 1, 1990 he became the pastor at St Anthony of Padua in West Kildonan. Father Sam was transferred on August 1, 1995 to his present home at Holy Rosary Church.
When he has some spare time he enjoys movies and reading. Father Sam loves to travel his best trip and most favourite place to visit, is of course Italy. He visits there at least every two years. His best and most remembered trip was in 1997 when he flew from New York City to Italy and traveled to many beautiful cities, ate the best cuisine of Italy, stayed in villas at Portofino and enjoyed the history our homeland is so rich with. Always an advocate for bringing people together, In 2012 Father Sam and Rabbi Rose organized an interfaith journey to Rome and Jerusalem. This trip was to bring together the Jewish and Catholic faith as brothers and sisters in faith.
read the article from the free press: A priest and a rabbi
Father Sam says he loves being a priest and wants to thank all of his parishioners from his first day at St. Peters to now for blessing his life with their love, faith and generosity.
On March 19, 2019 Father Sam was the recipient of the inaugural Sons of Italy Heart of the Lion Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognizes an individual who has tirelessly given of themselves and has made significant contributions to the community. The “Heart of the Lion” Lifetime Achievement Award is a special honour bestowed by the Sons of Italy, Garibaldi Lodge.
Article from the Winnipeg Free press on March 15, 201920190315105111299
As our community changes and evolves so does Father Sam. A man who never liked technology and loves the traditional ways, he has embraced today’s technology to reach out to our community scattered throughout the city and beyond. During the 2020 to 2022 COVID outbreak, Father Sam upgraded the parish to allow for Live-streaming as a way to keep in touch with parishioners. He is learning that Zoom is not just the sound of a speeding car, and can Facetime with anyone anywhere anytime.
Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”