KINGS POINT, N.Y, September 2, 2014 – The United States Merchant Marine Academy’s (USMMA) Catholic Chaplain, the Reverend Monsignor Brendan P. Riordan celebrated his final mass at the Mariners’ Memorial on Sunday, August 30th.
Msgr. Riordan, who has been a great friend to the Academy community since becoming pastor of St. Aloysius, Roman Catholic Church, in Great Neck in 1998, has also served at USMMA since 2014. Msgr. was kept very busy - he celebrated Wednesday and Sunday Mass, administered the Holy Sacraments of the Catholic Church, provided Eucharistic Minister Training, supervised service projects, provided pastoral counseling and served as Advisor to the Cardinal Newman Club.
“We are very grateful to Monsignor Riordan for his dedication to the Regiment of Midshipmen”, said Superintendent, Rear Adm. James A. Helis, USMS. “His spiritual guidance greatly enhanced USMMA’s Chapel Services. He will be missed.” Command Chaplain, Lt. Cmdr. Jerry Durham echoed the Admiral's sentiments, saying, In twenty-five years of ministry I have seldom come across such a godly man as Msgr. Brendan Riordan. His grace, compassion and love for the midshipman energized and reinvigorated our Catholic community. I am fortunate to have spent the last year co-pastoring with him here at USMMA and I will miss him greatly."
Following mass the Co-Presidents of the Newman Club, First Classmen, Joshua Levitas and Joseph Martz presented Msgr. with photos of the Mariner’s Memorial Chapel and the Newman Club. Levitas said, “Monsignor Riordan has been a true inspiration and role model to all of us midshipmen at Kings Point.”
Riordan, who will retire to Florida, has promised to keep all Kings Pointers in his prayers. When one member of the Academy staff thanked Msgr. for his ministry to the midshipmen he humbly replied, “They did more for me than I did for them.”