Retired from the Diocese of Metuchen, N.J.
, Father Sebastian Muccilli
continues to work tirelessly for the peace of Christ.
"I think revenge is at the basis of all the horrors that we try so hard to eradicate that somehow when we are trying to eradicate the ugliness, violence, horrors of life - in trying to eradicate the evil we find in ourselves - we find the need to be revengeful," Father Muccilli
It was the denial of his
final request for Father Muccilli's
presence at the execution which drives home the sheer evil.
"It was the man's last request," Father Muccilli
stated with a bone-chilling calm.
"I should have been allowed, but I was escorted out of the prison.
It shows how inhuman we have become - a person being denied the presence of another human being."
It was through longtime friend, Esther Brown - a social worker who has devoted her life to people on death row - that Father Muccilli first met Grayson.
For four years they wrote often and Father Muccilli
became convinced of Grayson's innocence.
early priesthood in the 1960s included 13 months at the Naval Support Activity Hospital
south of Da Nang, Vietnam, where he
ministered amidst the "horrors of war - death every day and sometimes the bodies of the wounded men were worse than in death."
For three and a half years in the '80s, Father Muccilli worked in a suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as director of a hospice program for abandoned and orphaned children.
brought chronically ill 3-year-old Jimmi to the U.S. and adopted, nurtured and cared for him.
He is now a 23-year-old accomplished pianist.
years as a chaplain at the VA Medical Center
in West Palm Beach where so "often the condition of the patients is/was as a result of the violence of war" were also not sufficient preparation for the intentional murder of the healthy, productive human being who was his
In addition to parish assignments, Father Muccilli has written and worked as associate director and associate editor of Pax Christi USA, whose mission is to "create a world that reflects the peace of Christ.
As a professor of moral theology at Sacred Heart School of Theology
in Hales Corners, Wis., he
taught the seminarians the way of justice and peace.
efforts and ministry to abolish the death penalty have been tireless and lifelong.
"In all of the life issues, we need the leadership of our priests, so we really appreciate Father Muccilli leading the way on ending the use of the death penalty," said Don Kazimir, diocesan director of the Respect Life Office.
To the delight of his
friends, Father Muccilli
frequently sends out an e-mail with "Etc.