June 2, 2022 – Fr. Alfred L. Fiorino, SJ, the son of Francis and Teresa (D’Auria) Fiorino, was born in Dover, N.J., on the feast of St. Ignatius, July 31, 1925. He was the youngest boy among 12 children. After graduating from Dover High School in 1943, Fr. Fiorino served as a U.S. Navy signalman in the Pacific including at Guadalcanal and Okinawa. He spent a lot of time during these years studying the life of Christ in the New Testament, and at the end of the war Fr. Fiorino was moved to become a Jesuit. He had to do some special studies at Xavier High School in Latin and Greek before entering St. Andrew-on-Hudson on August 14, 1948.
Fr. Fiorino had a normal course of studies in the Society of Jesus. He made Novitiate and Juniorate at St. Andrews (1948 – 1952), philosophy studies at Bellarmine College, Plattsburgh, N.Y., (1952 – 1955) Regency back in the Pacific at the Ateneo de Tuguegarao in the Philippines (1955 – 1957) and then theology at Woodstock College, Maryland (1957 – 1961). He was ordained to the priesthood at the Fordham University Church on the June 18, 1960. After tertianship at Auriesville (1961 – 1962) Fr. Fiorino went back to the Philippines to San Jose Seminary to teach religion, Latin, and English and to lecture in philosophy and theology (1962 – 1965).
In 1966, Fr. Fiorino joined the U.S. Navy as a military Chaplain. He served in the Philippines, Vietnam and Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. In November of 1969, Fr. Fiorino narrowly escaped a railroad bombing outside Danang, Vietnam. Fr. Fiorino said: “As a chaplain I learned to expect the unexpected. That lesson has carried me throughout my life. You plan as best you can, but you have to be ready to adjust.” Fr. Fiorino retired from the Navy on the first of April in 1990.
And readjust he did. Fr. Fiorino enrolled at the U.S. International University in San Diego (1990 – 1992) where he studied Clinical Psychology and Pastoral Ministry which equipped him well to serve as Chaplain at Mercy Hospital and the Veterans Hospital in San Diego from 1992 to 1997. After five years of hospital ministry, Fr. Fiorino, who was fluent in Italian as well as English, was assigned to the Jesuit Curia in Rome as the Regional Secretary for the U.S. Assistancy and the English-Speaking Provinces of Western Europe (1997 – 1999).
Following this short stint of desk work in the Eternal City, Fr. Fiorino came back to the U.S. and for the next eight years (1999 – 2007) was assigned to the Jogues Retreat Jesuit Community in Cornwall, N.Y. He served as treasurer and then as Superior of the Community. In 2007, Fr. Fiorino moved to Loyola Hall at Fordham and from there he continued to engage in the pastoral ministry he loved, this time in the Bronx and lower Westchester. He regularly celebrated Mass in Italian at St. Clare of Assisi Church. Fr. Fiorino moved to the Murray-Weigel-Kohlmann Jesuit Community in June of 2012 and continued his pastoral ministry while praying for the Church and the Society of Jesus. Before taking up residence at Murray-Weigel, Fr. Fiorino lived at Kohlmann Hall where he prayed each day in the chapel where he had taken his final vows many years before.
At almost 97 years of age and the eldest in the community. Fr. Fiorino served his Lord and Master well as a naval officer, as a Jesuit and as a priest over the course of nearly 75 years. He died peacefully at Murray-Weigel Hall on May 30, 2022, Memorial Day. How apt for a naval veteran of more than 25 years to pass on such a day.