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Pastor Walks the Road Less Traveled

Growing up as an altar boy in Newark, N.J., the Very Reverend Canon Matthew Mauriello had an inkling he would become a priest one day.

"I said to myself, 'I think I can do this,' " said the 53-year-old Greenwich churchman. "I was attracted to the idea and [to] people of good will." Last year, he became the eighth pastor of St. Roch Church.

But Mauriello's path to the priesthood first lead him into other fields. After receiving his B.A. from Seton Hall University in 1977, he took up a career in fine art, specializing in calligraphy, illumination and heraldic design in New York City.

The priestly life beckoned, though, and a few years later he entered the seminary, receiving his ordination to the priesthood in 1988 in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Mauriello is known for having the travel bug. "I served as a cruise ship chaplain a number of times [since 1990]," he said. "I've traveled to South America, Australia, New Zealand and The Greek Isles.

Meanwhile, St. Roch's feast day was coming around, and Mauriello wanted to bring back the parish's traditional festival. "My real passion is serving God's people," said Mauriello. "That's my life work with, of course, fun along the way."

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