The new priests are Father Dennis A. Nikolic of Staten Island, Father Levelt Germain of the Bronx, Father Evaristus C. Ohuche of Manhattan, Father Timothy S. Wiggins of Port Chester, Father Thomas Francis Cacciola, C.F.R., of Lancaster, Calif., and Father Angelus Marie Houle, C.F.R., of Manchester, N.H.
A boyhood friendship led him to the Church; a priest's influence led him to the altarFather Timothy S. Wiggins
clearly remembers the day‹he was 12 years old‹when his
best friend, Robert Muldoon, told him, "You can't come over tonight.We have to go to church."Timothy
was a Methodist, but he
spent a lot of time with the Muldoons.So he
went home, washed up, put on his
Sunday suit and went to Mass with them at Our Lady of Mercy Church
in Port Chester.It was the feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1976.
After that, he
went to the Methodist church
on Sunday morning with his
grandmother Beatrice Johns, who reared him, and to Mass at Our Lady of Mercy in the evening.Father (now Msgr.) Kenneth A. Gerathy, a parochial vicar, invited him to join the parish; he was received in 1980 and became a lector, Eucharistic minister and choir member.
Years later another priest, Msgr
.James T. Gorman, invited him to join the priesthood.He
said no; he
had a busy career and he
was caring for his
Born in Valhalla, Father Wiggins
, 38, is the son of Cecelia Johns Wiggins of Port Chester, where he
grew up.He earned a degree in hotel and restaurant management at the University of Denver, then worked as an assistant director of nutritional services for major corporations and for hospitals, among them St. Joseph's in Yonkers.
While working full time, he
also put in five years as rectory cook at Our Lady of Mercy; he
loved the job and the chance to get to know the priests.
"We were one family," he
said, and he
soon learned that the atmosphere was relaxed.On his
first day he
did what he
thought would be expected in a rectory with a strong Irish-American identity: he
cooked a roast beef, potatoes and vegetables and brought out the Irish linen and crystal.
Said Father Wiggins
, "I knew where my heart was.
will celebrate his
first Mass at Our Lady of Mercy Church
in Port Chester Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m.