Guests sang Happy Birthday to Fr. Tony Azzarto, S.J. during an 80th birthday picnic in his honor.

Nearly 1,000 well-wishers joined Fr. Tony Azzarto, S.J. at Prep last weekend for a special Mass and picnic in honor of his 80th birthday.

Recently retired after 41 years of service to Prep (spread out over four stretches between 1963 and 2018), Fr. Azzarto used his homily during Mass to recast the day as a celebration of not just one person, but the Prep community overall. “It takes all of us to continue to make Saint Peter’s the presence of God,” he said. “It takes all of us to continue to be our Pride and Glory.”

Although he is no longer at Grand & Warren on a daily basis, Fr. Azzarto noted that he will continue to be a part of Prep life – for example, hosting Prep on the Road gatherings and other alumni spirituality events as he has done in recent years – while also pursuing new endeavors in and around his new home on the Fordham University campus. Two of these, he joked, would be using his proximity to Yankee Stadium to “take down the evil empire from the inside” on behalf of his fellow Dodger fans, and pursuing a master’s degree in handwriting at Fordham.

Click here for video of the full Mass

Browse more photos here, and don’t miss special coverage of the event coming soon in the Fall issue of Prep Magazine!

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