21 Jun 2018
Fr. Peter Granzotto Remembered as a Salesian with a Passion and Zeal for the Lord
by Fr. Dennis Donovan, SDB
(Port Chester, N.Y. – June 19) – With a massive display of love and affection for the 91-year-old priest who served the parishioners of Port Chester well for over 30 years, more than 400 people turned out for the funeral of Fr. Peter Granzotto, held at St. John Bosco Church.
The respect for Fr. Peter was made even more evident by those who led the funeral liturgy. Fr. William Ferruzzi, SDB, a novice under Father’s direction (1964-1965), presided at the Mass. Cindy Moore, a dear friend of Fr. Peter since her childhood, led the music. The homily was given by Fr. Patrick Angelucci, pastor of St. John Bosco Parish, also one of Fr. Peter’s novices (1965-1966). A large contingent of Salesian priests, brothers, sisters, Cooperators, and members of ADMA were present.
In his homily, Fr. Pat repeated a theme for which Fr. Peter was known: “It is him that I myself will seek; there is no other.” Through vivid examples and by recalling touching moments in the life of Fr. Peter, he explained how Fr. Peter had three great loves.
The first was his love for his family. Even his siblings related that no matter how far away Fr. Peter might live from the rest of the family, he was the glue that
held them together.
His second great love was for the Salesian Family. “I want to be a priest that smiles like Don Bosco,” he told his friends. He was a Salesian “from the top of his head to the soles of his feet,” said Fr. Pat.
His third great love was for the people he served, to see Christ in each one of them. Fr. Pat related an account of how someone had come to Fr. Peter for counseling after being away from the Church for a long time, and found great peace and comfort in his words.
There were two things that Fr. Peter desired in life. According to Fr. Pat, these became obvious whenever Fr. Peter would approach him for his monthly chat with the director of the community. Fr. Peter desired to have a great holiness of life and a deep zeal for souls.
During his years as master of novices, Fr. Peter was known for giving very long conferences. Fr. Pat explained that through these one could recognize that he was working hard to form men of zeal who had a passion for the mission. “He wanted us to be men of passion and fire for the Lord.”
He ended the homily by repeating some advice Fr. Peter recently gave to a young priest in the parish. “Be joyful, zealous, and enthusiastic for God’s people.”
Fr. Peter was born on October 3, 1926, and passed away on June 14, 2018. He made his first profession of vows in Newton, N.J., on September 8, 1947. His perpetual profession was made on September 8, 1953. He received a B.A. in philosophy at Don Bosco College in 1950 and a licentiate in theology at the Salesian Pontifical University in Turin in 1957. He was ordained at the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin on July 7, 1957.