CMYK 2014 Honor Roll School of Excellence Ribbon PNG 300 dpi

September 15, 2014

Cathedral Prep Recognized as a Catholic School of Excellence by The Cardinal Newman Society

Elmhurst, NY – Today, The Cardinal Newman Society announced that Cathedral Preparatory School and Seminary has been named to the Catholic Education Honor Roll for 2014. Since 2004 the Honor Roll has celebrated quality Catholic education throughout the United States.

The Very Reverend Joseph Fonti, Rector-President, ’84, and Mr. Richie Diaz, Principal, ’96, stated:

“It is an honor for Cathedral Preparatory School and Seminary to be recognized by the Catholic Education Honor Roll as a School of Excellence in the United States. This distinction confirms our commitment to the mission of Catholic education. We applaud the the leadership, administration, students, parents, teachers, and staff for their hard work and commitment to assuming a strong Catholic identity grounds all we do in preparing our students to be future leaders in both society and the Church.”

Please visit the following site for more information:



Parent Letter 2014 – 2015 from Mr. Richie Diaz Principal

Please click the link below

f=””>Parent new teachers letter 2014


Father Troike Summer Program:

Leaders of the Church and the Community


Immaculata Dinner


After a visit back to his alma mater to attend Mass, alumnus Joseph Juliano, ’68, is offering Alumni, Families and Friends of Cathedral Prep 20% off on orders through   Please CLICK HERE for how you can benefit from this generous opportunity.  We thank Mr. Juliano for his generous support of Cathedral Prep.


Click image below to open the full Annual Report.


Annual Report 2013 cover


Prep’s Smallest Player Has the Biggest Heart

Posted on 16 October 2013.

by Jim Mancari

In football, basketball and even baseball these days, an athlete’s size is essential in getting noticed. In fact, oftentimes talented athletes that do not fit the typical mold are overlooked, despite their talent on the field or court.

But for a sport like soccer, the focus is mostly on endurance, finesse and speed rather than size.

Danny Goncalves shows off his footwork (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Danny Goncalves shows off his footwork (Photo by Jim Mancari)

At Cathedral Prep and Seminary, Elmhurst, sophomore forward Danny Goncalves is proving that size does not matter in soccer.

Standing at just four-feet, nine-inches tall, Danny certainly lacks the frame of some of his teammates and opponents. While God may not have blessed Danny with size just yet, He did give the budding star a huge heart.

The Astoria native attended Immaculate Conception Elementary School, and his family still attends the parish. He played Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) basketball there, but his CYO soccer came at St. Francis of Assisi, Astoria, since Immaculate Conception did not have a soccer team.

At Cathedral, Danny is a guard on the basketball team and a second baseman on the baseball team, but he said his first love is soccer – the sport that he has played since age three.

Danny’s father was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and lived there until age 26. In Brazil, soccer – known more commonly as “football” – is easily the most popular sport.

“My brother, my father, his father, his father … they all play soccer,” Danny said. “It’s in the blood. I love to play it and so does my family. It’s a beautiful sport because it’s all about teamwork. Without teamwork, you can’t achieve. That’s basically the motto of my life.”

Underdog Mentality

Based on his height, Danny is often underestimated by his opponents. But they soon learn that Danny possesses all the necessary skills to succeed on the field.

Danny Goncalves sends a kick downfield (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Danny Goncalves sends a kick downfield (Photo by Jim Mancari)

“Every day I step onto the court or field, I always have that mentality that people don’t think that I can do as much as I can,” he said. “I always stay dedicated every day, training myself to be the best I can be to prove people wrong.”

Danny actually believes that his size gives him an advantage while competing. He has plenty of energy, so his body does not break down as fast as some of the bigger players. Also, he moves so fast on the field that his opponents often lose track of where he is at any given time.

“When we’re playing or practicing, I always seem to pass everybody quickly, and it’s hard for them to put their foot out to stop the ball,” he said.

Junior defenseman and team captain Brendan Gallagher has the responsibility of motivating the Crusaders before heading into a competition, and he said his job is much easier with Danny on the team.

“He (Danny) never stops, even when we’re down by three or four goals,” Gallagher said. “He has footwork like crazy. It’s actually ridiculous how he spins around them (opponents). When he’s on the field, he just shocks everybody.”

Danny’s main soccer strength is his dribbling ability. While he certainly can score goals, he said he loves setting his teammates up for scoring opportunities.

“It’s almost like he’s break-dancing with some of the moves he makes,” said Crusaders’ head varsity soccer coach Will Scharen.

Scharen said that when Danny tried out as a freshman, he was a little bit worried based on Danny’s size. But Danny’s grit and determination have led him to become the sparkplug of the team, as his coach called him.

“Both years, Danny just plays very intense,” Scharen said. “He definitely inspires the other guys with his playmaking and his skills. It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

Role Models

Danny looks up to Argentinian forward Lionel Messi as his role model. Messi stands at just five-feet, seven inches, yet he is the captain of Argentina’s national team and widely regarded as the best soccer player in the world.

But Danny was quick to point out that when Messi was in high school, he stood at four-feet, 11-inches – further proving that size does not matter in the sport.

“Even Pele (five-feet, eight inches) wasn’t a big guy,” Danny said. “And he’s the best player ever!”

Danny Goncalves is pictured with a few of his taller teammates: senior goalie Robert Zawadzki, left, and sophomore midfielder/striker Brian Hickey, right. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Danny Goncalves is pictured with a few of his taller teammates: senior goalie Robert Zawadzki, left, and sophomore midfielder/striker Brian Hickey, right. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

In addition to his athletic skills, Danny excels in the classroom and is ranked near the very top of the sophomore class academically. His teammates view him as their role model, even though he’s the same age or younger than most of them.

Danny’s teammates certainly look up to him – but of course that “looking up” is metaphorically speaking, since physically Danny is the one who is always looking up at everyone else!

His nickname may be “Little Dan,” but anyone who sees him play can easily notice that his impact is far from small. Again, what Danny lacks in stature, he certainly makes up for it with the size of his heart.

“I try to follow my heart all the time,” he said. “That’s what’s really kept me going as far as my lack of size. Without that, I don’t know what would happen. Thankfully, it’s helped me grow as a person.”

Danny hopes to keep growing – literally and figuratively – as he and his teammates continue their season at Cathedral Prep. With Danny as the centerpiece of the team the next two years, the Crusaders are poised to be the David – or even the Danny – against any Goliath.

The New Cathedral Prep and Seminary (with slideshow)

Posted on 02 October 2013.

by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Above, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio celebrates the Mass of installation of Father Joseph Fonti as the new rector/president of Cathedral Prep and Seminary, Elmhurst.

Above, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio celebrates the Mass of installation of Father Joseph Fonti as the new rector/president of Cathedral Prep and Seminary, Elmhurst.

Cathedral Preparatory Seminary began its history in the Fall of 1914 at the corners of Atlantic and Washington Avenues in Brooklyn. Founded as a preparatory high school, Cathedral was also a seminary – a place where boys who expressed at an early age a desire to discern a vocation to the diocesan priesthood would feel comfortable and encouraged. Originally, it was a six-year program, which included the first two years of philosophy to be completed in a six-year seminary program. For almost 100 years, Cathedral has stayed faithful to its mission: form the mind in the ways of academic excellence and the heart and soul in the ways of heroic virtue and belief.

The program at Cathedral, vibrant since 1963 in its Elmhurst campus, continues to offer every young man in its care a personalized, academic education in an environment where he can grow in maturity and grace. Keenly aware of the challenges that we face as a Church and in the society in which we live, the Cathedral man is prepared to be both a gifted thinker and a generous servant. Whether its graduates don the vestments of pastoral service as priests or deacons in Brooklyn and Queens or serve their own individual family or the families in the community around them, the Cathedral experience is determined and dedicated to form men for greatness.

Recently, at the completion of the term of Father Fred Marano, the former Rector/ Principal, I appointed Father Joseph Fonti as the new Rector/President of Cathedral Preparatory Seminary. Father Fonti is well qualified, as he has his S.T.L. in spiritual direction, has been a pastor and most recently Assistant Director of the Sacred Heart Institute for the Continuing Education of the Clergy, as well as a spiritual director in the College Seminary. The appointment reflects the basic change that has occurred in that we have gone to a President/Principal model with Mr. Richie Diaz serving as principal, separating the responsibilities of these two roles. This change will allow Father Fonti to concentrate on the formation and external affairs of Cathedral.

As clearly stated in its Mission Statement, it is not expected that every young man who enters Cathedral Preparatory Seminary would go on to the priesthood. Rather, formation and Christian leadership is important. In order to clarify this modification, the school will now be known as Cathedral Prep and Seminary. This new vision for Cathedral Prep and Seminary will include looking to improve the academic character of the institution, while at the same time concentrating in the last two years on a special tract for those who are seriously considering a vocation to the priesthood.

In the last two years, perhaps a concentration on Latin is still important for work in the Church, as well as an introduction to Greek. Most important, however, is the spiritual direction given to these young men. Although some students discern to go on to other colleges, especially if they have received a scholarship to a college other than St. John’s University where most of our college seminary students attend classes, a new program of outreach with those who have gone on to other institutions but still may be discerning a vocation will be part of the responsibilities of Cathedral Prep and Seminary.

Our program at Cathedral Prep and Seminary is also available to those in the Archdiocese of New York and also the Diocese of Rockville Centre. In the past, we have had students from both of these dioceses, and we will make a special effort of recruitment in the future. Another special aspect that we foresee in the future is a closer connection to parish life.

A vocation to the priesthood cannot be discerned merely in a school setting. Rather, it must be discerned in practical and pastoral settings in the parish. At one time, pastors were required to sign report cards of all students attending Cathedral Prep. Perhaps some system of contact, short of report card signing, might accomplish what we are attempting in this important part of the process of formation.

With the re-launching of Cathedral Prep and Seminary, we have put out into the deep in a new direction, hoping that we can assist in discerning the vocations of young people. The members of the millennial generation are making their choices much earlier than those in the past. To lose the opportunity to reach out to them and provide a safe haven for the discernment of vocations would be a mistake at this time. I would ask that you please join me in prayer for the success of the re-organization of our Cathedral Prep and Seminary School.

A Step Closer to Priesthood

Posted on 05 September 2013. Tags: 

by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

On Aug. 31, I had the privilege in our Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens of ordaining ten men to the Transitional Diaconate. This means, please God, that this coming June we will ordain these men and three others to the priesthood for service to the Diocese of Brooklyn. These young men reflect the diversity of our Diocese. They come from various ethnic backgrounds, speak the languages needed in Brooklyn and Queens and have proven themselves during their years of formation to be ready to accept this key step on the way to the priesthood.

I feel particularly close to these seminarians. Many discerned their vocations when I first came to the Diocese almost 10 years ago. Each began his own vocational journey by coming to retreats, discernment groups or as students at Cathedral Preparatory Seminary. Most continued their period of formation at the Cathedral Seminary House of Formation and now in the major seminary.

WeddingTheodore Cardinal McCarrick, who ordained me to the episcopacy, taught me a great deal about being a Bishop. One thing that made a particular impression concerning Ordination was his refrain, “Do not lay your hands upon anyone whom you do not know.”

In my episcopal ministry, I have tried my best to follow this sound advice. Getting to know our seminarians on their road to the priesthood will make for a good presbyterate in the future for the Diocese of Brooklyn, as well as to foster a good relationship between bishop and priest. The directory for Bishops maintains that they must be both father, brother and friend to the priests of his diocese. It is not always easy to maintain these multiple relationships, which sometimes seem to contradict one another. The nature of the episcopacy and the priesthood call upon us to act in a paternal and, yet, fraternal way with one another.

Some of those ordained last weekend were with me in Rio de Janeiro and participated in World Youth Day 2013. I was so happy to be with them and was privileged to see firsthand their interaction with the young people who traveled with us from the Diocese of Brooklyn. It was important for them to influence in a positive way the youth of Brooklyn and Queens on that wonderful pilgrimage. It is never easy to know how to invite young people to consider a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. Perhaps the best way is simply to be with them, to be present and let them see up-close someone who is following a vocation. This is the most valuable witness that we can provide and our seminarians, indeed, did provide this during World Youth Day 2013.

Over the years, the formation of our seminarians has changed and developed. Those who do not attend the college seminary typically have to also complete two-years of pre-theology. The new amalgamated seminary system for the Archdiocese of New York, Diocese of Rockville Centre and Diocese of Brooklyn, I believe, is bearing fruit. Both the Cathedral Residence of the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Douglaston and St. Joseph Seminary in Dunwoodie have proven to be an asset which brings greater group solidarity and enthusiasm for the formation and education processes. This group has been privileged to experience both Douglaston and Dunwoodie, as well as Huntington. Our new formation system is developing a deeper fraternity among the future priests in each of the metropolitan area. Our inter-diocesan future relationships will be much stronger and more productive in the years to come.

On another note, we are looking at our high school seminary, the Cathedral Preparatory Seminary, in a new way during this coming year under the leadership of Father Joseph Fonti. Father Fonti will serve as the Rector and President. I am confident he is well situated for this important ministry in the life of the Church because of his many years as a parish priest, pastor and spiritual director of the college seminary. Father Fonti will be assisted by Mr. Richie Diaz who will serve as the principal with specific responsibilities for the academic life at the Prep. In this new model, Father Fonti is charged with looking to revamp our program to meet current needs and assist these young men in the discernment process.

I am convinced that even high school students can discern a vocation and make decisions to follow a priestly vocation. If some do not immediately go on to our college seminary they may do so in other circumstances. For those who do not continue to pursue a priestly vocation, we can be sure that they received a fine Catholic education and will be lay leaders in our Church who support the ministry of the clergy. We will make every effort possible to assist them in this process of discernment.

I take this opportunity to congratulate our new transitional deacons – Jeremy Canna, Vincenzo Cardilicchia, Jason Espinal, Felix Herrera, Evans Julce, Gregory McIlhenney, Peter Penton, Robert Pierre-Louis, Anthony Rosado and Carlos Velasquez – and the two studying at the Orchard Lake Seminary in Michigan who were ordained earlier this summer – Marcin Chilczuk and Cezar Jastrzebski – and Juan Luxama who will be ordained a deacon in Rome this October.

Please pray for our fine seminarians during their final year of seminary studies. Hopefully, in June we will ordain these 13 men to the priesthood, the largest class in ten years. It is my deep hope that the Lord will continue to bless our efforts of putting out into the deep waters of our society today and fishing for those called to the priesthood and religious life here in Brooklyn and Queens.