BRIDGEPORT—Monsignor Andrew G. Varga, pastor of St. Luke Parish in Westport, passed away on Monday afternoon, March 7, 2022. He was 69 years of age.
“Monsignor Varga had an abiding love and appreciation for the people of his parish and a generous heart toward all those in need and will be deeply missed. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Msgr. Varga and for the consolation of his family,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano in making the announcement.
Msgr. Varga was appointed pastor of St. Luke Church in Westport in 1997, a position he held for 25 years. He also served the diocese as a territorial vicar and as a member of the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors.
He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Bridgeport by the Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport on May 6, 1978.
Andrew George Varga was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on November 3, 1952, son of Andrew and Gizella Varga. He was baptized on November 30, 1952, at St. Stephen Church on Spruce Street in Bridgeport. He made his First Holy Communion and received the Sacrament of Confirmation at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Stratford.
He attended Saint Holy Name of Jesus School, Fairfield College Preparatory School in Fairfield and Fairfield University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Monsignor Varga received his priestly formation at the Theological College of the Catholic University of America, receiving a Master of Arts in Theology.
Following his ordination, his first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Matthew Church in Norwalk (1978-1983). In 1983, he was transferred to St. Theresa Church in Trumbull where he had served as a deacon. In 1991, Monsignor Varga was assigned to St. Leo Church in Stamford. In February 1992, he was assigned as temporary administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Brookfield before formally being made pastor in August of the same year.
In 1982, he was awarded a Doctor of Ministry degree from the School of Religious Studies in the Department of Theology at the Catholic University of America. Throughout his years of priestly ministry in the diocese, Msgr. Varga served on both the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors. Bishop Caggiano appointed Msgr. Varga as territorial vicar for Vicariate II in 2014.
He chaired the Diocesan Liturgical Commission for many years, served on the Sacred Arts Committee and was an active team member of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate, speaking at workshops around the country.
In addition, Msgr. taught homiletics in the Permanent Diaconate Formation Program for many years. Monsignor Varga was a member of the committee appointed by Bishop William Lori for the preparation and catechesis for the new English translation of the Roman Missal in 2011.
In 2008, Msgr. Varga received the great honor of being named chaplain to His Holiness.
Monsignor Varga’s body will be received at St. Luke Church in Westport on Thursday, March 17 at 3 pm and will lie in repose until 7 pm. At 7 pm, Mass will be celebrated for the repose of Msgr. Varga’s soul. The principal celebrant will be Msgr. Thomas Powers, vicar general; the homilist will be Father Skip Karcsinski.
Bishop Caggiano will celebrate the Funeral Mass on Friday, March 18 at 11 am. The homilist will be Deacon Brian Kelly. Interment will be private.