Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Padre. the Spiritual Journey of Father Virgil Cordano

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Padre. the Spiritual Journey of Father Virgil Cordano

Article excerpt

Padre. The Spiritual Journey of Father Virgil Cordano. Edited by Mario T. García. (Santa Barbara: Capra Press. 2005. Pp. xxx, 233. $17.95 paperback.)

As aptly described in Garcia's preface to this autobiography, Father Virgil Cordano "is a shining example of everything that is good about the Catholic Church." More than that, he is the acknowledged spiritual godfather of California's Channel City.

Born of Italian parentage eighty-seven years ago, "George" Cordano attended Catholic parochial school in his native Sacramento, where he recognized his priestly calling at the tender age of twelve. He entered Saint Anthony's Seminary in Santa Barbara and graduated in 1939 as class valedictorian. In the Franciscan novitiate he took the name of "Virgil." He completed his clerical studies at the Mission Theological Seminary at Santa Barbara, where he was ordained in June of 1945 by then Bishop Joseph T. McGucken.

After a brief stint as chaplain at Saint Mary's Hospital in San Francisco, he taught biblical studies, homiletics, and liturgy at Santa Barbara. Then it was off to The Catholic University of America for a degree in Sacred Theology. While in Washington, D.C., he was asked to preach for the 200th anniversary of Fray Junipero Serra's departure for New Spain at a ceremony honoring that legendary friar at Statuary Hall in the nation's capitol. His remarks for that occasion were printed in the Congressional Record.

Returning to Santa Barbara in 1950, he subsequently served as professor, master of clerics, seminary rector, parochial pastor, member of the dennitorium, and three terms as guardian. Cordano's widely recognized prudence and insight explained how he came to be appointed three times as apostolic visitor to the Franciscans in Australia and New Zealand, those along the eastern seaboard of the United States, and the friars in Latin America. …

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