Father Bob Born in 1940
April 27, 2008

Father Bob Born in 1940

Robert J. Postiglione was born February 19, 1940, to Carl and Constance Levoci Postiglione. There were 48 states in the Union. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was President of the United States. Fiorello Laguardia was Mayor of New York City. Pius XII was Pope. Francis Joseph Spellman was Archbishop of New York.

Father Bob's father Carl Postiglione was born in Brooklyn. Father Bob's paternal grandparents were from the "instep" in southern Italy. They were born in Pignola, near Potenza in the Basilicata region. Father Bob's grandfather, Rocco Postiglione, emigrated in 1892 at age 32 aboard the French ship Neustria, from Naples to New York.

Father Bob's mother Constance Levoci was born in Manhattan. His maternal grandparents were from southern Italy. His grandfather was born in Castrovillari in the Calabria region (the"toe") and his grandmother in Potenza (the "instep").

Rocco Postiglione Italian Flag
Carl Postiglione
Angela Maria Schiavone Italian Flag
Robert J. Postiglione
b. 1940
Giovanni Levoci Italian Flag
Constance Levoci
Maria Sarubbi Italian Flag

The family lived on Morris Park Avenue a few blocks from Our Lady of Solace Parish. This was a Italian/Catholic neighborhood in the Van Nest section of the Bronx, just east of the Bronx Zoo. It was a short bike ride to Arthur Avenue and Fordham University. He attended Our Lady of Solace elementary school, taught by the Presentation Sisters. Once a year, the Sisters would walk the class in ranks for a field trip from school to the New York Botanical Garden.

Father Bob says his family "lived a very traditional Catholic lifestyle. Attendance at Church was a very meaningful part of my life."

When he was in third grade, his father changed the family name to Post from Postiglione.

As a young boy growing up in the Bronx, Father Post lived very close to the firehouse of FDNY Engine 90 and Ladder 41. All members of the neighborhood community, young and old, were welcome there. This is where Father Bob's love of the fire services began.

After elementary school, Father Bob went to Cardinal Hayes High School, a Catholic high school in the Bronx taught by the Christian Brothers.

In 1955, after two years at Cardinal Hayes High School, Robert Post decided to enter the junior novitiate of the Christian Brothers in West Park, New York, preparatory to becoming a Brother.

Father Bob Professed in 1957

In 1957, at age 17, Robert Post was professed as a Christian Brother. He took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. To him, "the spiritual and academic preparation was excellent. I had the opportunity to receive a bachelor's degree and a doctorate as part of my professional teaching career." In 1961, he received a B.A. in French from Iona College, which is run by the Christian Brothers in New Rochelle. In 1970, he received an M.A. in theology from St. John's University in New York City. In 1979, he received an M.A. in educational administration from Manhattan College in New York City. His academic preparation also included graduate studies in theology at Gonzaga University in Spokane and the Christian Brothers International House of Studies in Rome.

Brother Bob in 1965
Brother Robert Post, 1965.
In 1965 Father Bob professed his perpetual vows as a Christian Brother.

He taught in the United States, Canada, and Italy. His subjects were Religion, Latin, French, and Italian. He was assistant principal at Bishop Gibbons High School in Schenectady, New York. Later he was principal of Blessed Sacrament High School in New Rochelle. "I always felt that I did not teach academic subjects, but that I taught young people to become mature Catholic adults! I thoroughly enjoyed what I was doing!"

As the Documents of Vatican II began to take hold in the teaching and life of the Catholic Church, the Christian Brothers became more involved in the lay ministries of the Church. These ministries were not only practiced within the school community, but also in local Parish communities. "I began to feel a sense of 'needing' to be more actively involved in wider ministry in the Church. I did not want to "turn my back" on the Christian Brothers, so I agonized in prayer and through spiritual direction, the possibility of becoming a priest." A Christian Brother is not permitted to seek priestly ordination within the Congregation ... it is a community of lay religious men.

His spiritual director suggested that he seek ordination in a Diocese that would permit him to continue his secondary school teaching career, as well as serving a local community as a priest. "I truly believed I was not turning away from a perpetual commitment that I had made in 1965 when I professed my perpetual vows as a Christian Brother, but that I was enhancing that first commitment with a new and different one ... the commitment to priesthood was built on the commitment to the brotherhood!"

Father Bob Ordained in 1982

In 1982, at age 42, Brother Robert Post was ordained as a Priest in the Diocese of Bridgeport by Bishop Walter W. Curtis.

Saint Mary's Parish, 1982-1984. From 1982 to 1984, Father Bob was associate pastor at Saint Mary's Church in Bethel, Connecticut. He had done his internship here while still a Christian Brother and preparing for the priesthood. Also from 1982 to 1984, Father Bob was a Spiritual Director part-time at St. Gabriel's High School in New Rochelle, New York.

Saint Thomas More Parish, 1984-1987. From 1984 to 1987, Father Bob was Resident Priest at Saint Thomas More Parish. His service was limited to weekend Masses. The November 1984 Dialogue introduced him to the parish. At the same time that he was Resident Priest at Saint Thomas More, Father Bob served as a Spiritual Director at Stamford Catholic High School.

Sacred Heart Parish, 1987-1999. From 1987 to 1999, Father Bob was assistant pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Stamford. Says Father Bob, "my twelve years at Sacred Heart gave me the opportunity to serve in an Italian Parish with people of my ethnic background in a language (Italian) that I love very much!" At the same time, he was serving as a Spiritual Director at Stamford Catholic High School, Central Catholic High School in Norwalk, Immaculate High School in Danbury, and Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford.

From 1988 to 1995, Father Bob was Master of Ceremonies for Bishop Curtis.

In 1993, Father Bob received a Ph.D. in educational administration from Pacific Western University in Los Angeles.

Saint Thomas More Parish, 1999-present. In December 1999, Father Bob returned to Saint Thomas More Parish as Parochial Vicar. To Father Bob, this is "a very challenging, but rewarding ministry and different from my work in Sacred Heart (Italian) Parish in Stamford." At the same time, he has served as a Spiritual Director at Sacred Heart Academy in Stamford until it closed in 2006.

"I love the life God has given me, as a Brother and now as a Diocesan Priest. I would not want to be anything else but a priest!"

Father Bob in 1982
Father Robert Post, 1982.
Saint Mary's Church
Saint Mary's Church in Bethel, 1982 to 1984.
Sacred Heart Church
Sacred Heart Church on Schuyler Avenue in Stamford, 1987 to 1999.
Saint Thomas More Church
Saint Thomas More Church, Darien, 1984 to 1987, 1999 to present.

Church of Santa Susanna, Via Venti Settembre, 15, 00187 Rome.
Summer Associate in Rome. Each August since 1987 Father Bob has been going to the Church of Santa Susanna in Rome where he assists the Paulist Fathers as the "Summer Associate". "Again," says Father Bob, "because of my Italian ancestry, this ministry is one of the main highlights of the year."

Santa Susanna is the American Church in Rome run by the Paulist Fathers, an order of priests founded in New York in 1858.

In 1921, the Paulists wished to establish a presence in Rome. Next to the American Embassy on Via Venti Settembre in Rome, they noticed an old unused church, the Church of Santa Susanna. The church adjoined a three hundred year old convent of Cistercian sisters. At the request of the Paulists, President Warren G. Harding expressed a desire to the Papal Nuncio in Washington for an American church in Rome and suggested the Church of Santa Susanna. Later that year, Pope Benedict XV authorized the Paulists to use the Church of Santa Susanna for the purpose of creating a national church for American Catholics in Rome.

When Father Bob was serving at the Church of Santa Susanna this last August, they celebrated his 50th Anniversary at 10:30 am Mass, followed by a reception. The homily was given by Rev. Gregory S. Apparcel, CSP, Rector of the Church of Santa Susanna. At the reception, there was cake, prosecco, coffee, iced tea, and cornetti, plus a chance to congratulate Father Bob and visit with one another.

John Paul II, 1989
Father Bob speaking with Pope John Paul II in Rome in August 1989.
John Paul II, 2001
Father Bob presenting Pope John Paul II the emblem of the Stamford Fire & Rescue Department in Rome in August 2002.

Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts. Each morning for the past twenty-three years, Father Bob has been celebrating Mass in the Motherhouse Chapel of the Sisters, Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Stamford. The Sisters are a traditional Congregation with very strong roots in Italy. United as a religious family through their special devotion to the Sacred Hearts and by their profession of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience, the Sisters, Little Workers, live, pray and work together. Their life of communion, grounded in the contemplation and imitation of Jesus and Mary, is the source and support of all they do.

To Father Bob, "they are a joy to serve. Over the years the Sisters have been extremely kind and helpful not only to me, but also to my parents while they were alive."

Little Workers
Sisters, Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts teaching at Our Lady of Grace Preschool and kindergarten in Stamford.
Little Workers
Father Post saying Byzantine Rite Mass at Saint Thomas More, 2007.

Byzantine Rite Mass. Each year, Father Bob celebrates a special Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy (Mass) of Saint Chrysostom in English. This form of worship is the manner in which the Eastern Rite Catholics (Greek, Ukrainian, Russian) celebrate their Sunday Masses. Father Bob is on the Bi-Ritual Faculties for the Catholic Byzantine Ukrainian Diocese of Stamford.

Knights of Columbus. Father Bob is a Faithful Friar in the Father Myron V. Miller Assembly of the Knights of Columbus in Stamford.

Fire Department Chaplain. Since 1995, Father Bob has been Chaplain of the Stamford Fire & Rescue Department. He has been a Chaplain in the Fire Services for a total of twenty-two years. He says he "enjoys what he does for the Department. With the honorary rank of "deputy chief", he is very proud to wear to Class A and his SFRD turnout gear!"

Deputy Chief Post
Deputy Chief Post, Chaplain, Stamford Fire & Rescue Department.
Father Bob is a long time member of the International Federation of Fire Chaplains, which is composed of more that 800 priests, ministers and rabbis throughout the United States and Canada. Each October Father Bob attends the Federation of Fire Chaplains' School at various locations in the United States and Canada taking courses in pastoral theology and psychology.

This ministry has taken on a whole new vision since September 11, 2001! Father Bob has also become certified as a Chaplain for the U.S. Homeland Security.

Father Bob responds to as many incidents as possible, assisting personnel who are seriously injured, ill or families of those personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Father Bob also attends departmental functions and participates when appropriate. He also performs weddings, baptisms, funeral Masses and/or memorial services when requested. Each member of the Stamford Fire & Rescue Department and their immediate family members have a right to avail themselves of Father Bob's presence in their lives.

Although Roman Catholic, Father Bob's Chaplaincy extends to members of all religious denominations. Says Fire Chief Robert McGrath, "Father Bob is very much appreciated by all the Personnel of the Stamford Fire & Rescue Department. He is always in one of the stations and we enjoy his visits having coffee with us!"

Father Bob's 70th Birthday














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