Reverend Monsignor Vincent R. Bommarito, pastor of Saint Ambrose Parish in St. Louis, is the 2009 recipient of Aquinas Institute of Theology’s Great Preacher Award. The Great Preacher Award will be presented to Monsignor Bommarito on Thursday, October 29, 2009, at Rose of the Hill, 2300 Edwards, in St. Louis.
“Since 1995, Aquinas Institute of Theology has annually conferred its Great Preacher Award to promote compelling and imaginative preaching that powerfully engages hearers with the Word of God,” said Reverend Richard A. Peddicord, O.P., President of Aquinas Institute of Theology. “Monsignor Bommarito was selected as our 2009 Great Preacher Award honoree because of his ability to inspire by both word and action, and for his unselfish and untiring service to God’s people.
“The ‘Year of the Priest’ offers the opportunity for all our ministries to reconnect to the centrality of the Word,” said Monsignor Bommarito. “Next to praying the words of the institution narrative, proclaiming the Living Word is critical in exciting the hearts of all to embrace the Lord – and each day graced by the Lord gives rise to hope and thanksgiving.”
Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Saint Louis in 1977, Monsignor Bommarito is the third of four children born to Carl and Fannie Bommarito. He has two older brothers, Joseph and Salvatore, and a younger sister, Theresa De Pond.
Since his ordination, he has been assigned to a number of parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He is presently the pastor of Saint Ambrose Catholic Church on “the Hill,” St. Louis’ well-known Italian neighborhood. Monsignor Bommarito‘s current assignment represents the second time he has provided for the spiritual needs of the people of Saint Ambrose Parish, having also served the parish as associate pastor from 1981 until 1987.
From 1994 – 1999, while pastor of Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish, he was appointed by former Florissant Mayor James Eagen to numerous city boards dealing with housing and cultural diversity.
In 1995, Archbishop Justin Rigali appointed then-Father Bommarito as the priest liaison to the Archdiocesan Pro-life Committee. In that role he continues to offer talks on the topics of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide; he also counsels women living with the aftermath of abortion through the Project Rachel Program. Monsignor Bommarito has been a spiritual director for Kenrick Seminary and is currently a mentor for the first year Theology Formation Program. He also served on the SSM Rehabilitation Board for 10 years.
During the 1980s, Bommarito served as director of the Hill 2000 Neighborhood Organization; when he returned to St. Ambrose as pastor, he again became involved with this organization which is committed to the stabilization of the Hill neighborhood with its tradition and cultures. Bommarito is a member of the Italian Federation of Saint Louis and for more than 30 years has served on the board of the Italian Open Golf Classic, an organization which has raised over one million dollars for various children’s charities.
In August 2000, he offered the closing prayer at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. He is the chaplain for the St. Louis Chapter of UNICO National. On October 2, 2002, he was honored by the Misericordia Society as the Grand Marshall for the St. Louis Columbus Day Corporation. On October 15, 2008, he received the Italian Heritage Award from the Italian Club of St. Louis.
On November 17, 2008, he was appointed by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, as a Chaplain of His Holiness and given the title of Monsignor.
“The Letter to the Colossians highlights the need to have the ‘rich’ word of Christ ‘dwell’ within us and the need to ‘do’ everything in the Lord’s name,” said Bommarito. “This is testimony to the richness of Sacred Scripture that not only gives our lives direction but that leads us to reflect on the Lord’s life and love where there is peace, forgiveness, healing and hope.”
To obtain tickets for the event, please contact Aquinas Institute of Theology at (314) 256-8857, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .