BRIDGEPORT—Reverend Monsignor Ernest T. Esposito died on January 15, 2019 after a brief illness. He was 83 years of age.
“Monsignor Esposito will be remembered as a man who truly enjoyed his life as a priest and shared that joy and good spirit with all whom he met. He will be deeply missed by his brother priests and all who knew him,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.
Ernest Thomas Esposito was born in Mount Vernon, New York, on January 23, 1935, son of Mr. Francesco and Maria (Coschignano) Esposito. He attended William Penn and Columbus Grammar Schools and Nichols Junior High School in Mount Vernon. Upon graduating from Edison Vocational and Technical High School in 1953, he served in the United States Army in New Jersey, Kentucky and Japan (1954-1956). He began his priestly formation with the Franciscan Friars at Saint Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, New York (1956-1960) and Saint Francis College in Rye Beach, New Hampshire (1960-1962), and he went on to study Theology at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C. (1962-1963) and Our Lady of Loretto Seminary in Loretto, Pennsylvania (1964-1967).
He was ordained to the Priesthood for the Diocese of Bridgeport by the Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis in Saint Augustine Cathedral on May 20, 1967.
He served as Parochial Vicar of Holy Rosary Parish in Bridgeport (1967-1969), Saint Mary Parish in Bridgeport (1969), Saint Charles Borromeo Parish in Bridgeport (1969-1970), Saint Raphael Parish in Bridgeport (1970-1976) and Saint Pius X Parish in Fairfield (1976-1985). He was Pastor of Saint Peter Parish in Bridgeport (1985-1991) and reappointed as Pastor of the newly-united parishes of Saint Peter and Saint Anthony Parishes (1991). He served as Parochial Vicar (1991-1994; 1996-1997) and Administrator of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Fairfield (1994), and lived in residence there (1994-1996). He was named Administrator of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Stratford (1996).
He served as diocesan Director of Family Life/Respect Life (1991-2006), as Episcopal Vicar for Religious (2001-2010) and as Chaplain of Saint Joseph Manor in Trumbull (2007-2010). During his longer service in the Diocese, Monsignor Esposito was also a member of the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors.
Monsignor Esposito, who retired in 2010, was named Chaplain to His Holiness, with the title of Monsignor, by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on November 22, 2007.
Monsignor Esposito’s body will be received at Saint Pius X Church, located at 834 Brookside Drive, Fairfield, at 3:30 pm on Friday, January 18 and will lie in repose until the Vigil Mass at 7:00 pm. Monsignor Thomas W. Powers will be the principal celebrant, and Father Robert Crofut will be the homilist. Bishop Caggiano will celebrate the Funeral Mass at Saint Pius X Church at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 19, and Monsignor James Cuneo will be the homilist. Those concelebrating the Vigil Mass and/or at the Funeral Mass should bring their diocesan vestments.
Interment will follow the Mass at Saint Michael Cemetery in Stratford (2205 Stratford Avenue).
Condolences and gifts in his memory to support retired priests can be sent to the Catherine Dennis Keefe Queen of the Clergy Residence, 274 Strawberry Hill Road, Stamford, 06902