Msgr. Thomas Petrillo – Larchmont, NY
Msgr. Thomas Petrillo was born in Brooklyn, NY on April 6, 1957. He grew up Catholic and attended Catholic schools his whole life. In first grade he decided that “he wanted to be a priest.” However, by Junior High School he had already dropped the idea of priesthood altogether. He went on to Catholic High School and there the flame for the love of the Lord was rekindled. Yet, he went on to NYU with the idea of studying medicine. He wanted to specialize in geriatrics and believed that there he could serve the “poor” that so many did not care to serve in the medical field–the elderly. He thought this would be pleasing enough to God.
At NYU he began to work for the Catholic Center. He also ventured into the world of nursing homes as his pull towards geriatrics found him searching for work experience in this field. Little did he know that this would be the very place where God would pull at his heart once again in order to lead him to the priesthood of Jesus Christ.
Msgr. Petrillo began to work for the “Little Sisters of the Poor” during his junior year. In that environment God spoke to him and through his desire to serve the elderly God was able to put him back on the path that he had originally walked upon so many years earlier.
He entered St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers and was ordained a priest on November 5, 1983. After serving as a priest at a parish for three years he was asked to serve at a local High School, Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx. There he spent ten wonderful years teaching and serving as chaplain and campus minister. He later went on to complete a doctorate in Education at Columbia University.
From here he served as Secretary to the Papal Nuncio for nine and a half years in Washington D.C. Today he is Pastor of St. John and Paul parish in Larchmont, NY where he was introduced to the Emmanuel community through a local family.
He attended the summer sessions (mini-retreats) in Paray-le-Monial, France in 2010 and 2011. But it was not until the Fraternity of Jesus Christ in Paray-le-Monial, an annual retreat for those Emmanuel Community members (including priests and consecrated brothers and sisters) who live mission in a more radical way, that the community touched his heart. He was drawn by the fraternal love and joy of all the brothers and sisters. He made his first step into the Emmanuel Community in 2012.