BY ASHA MAHADEVAN
BACKGROUND: Bob Coccia has been living in Queens for 71 years and has been a resident of Bayside for 45 years. He and his wife Barbara have two children and two grandchildren.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Coccia is the Eucharist minister at the St. Robert Bellarmine Chatholic Church. This parish has members of various communities — Italian, Irish, Filipino and Korean being just a few. Coccia conducts the weekly 9:15 a.m. Korean mass. He has been involved with the Korean community for the past 11 years. Over the years, he has built relationships with the community and its leaders, which makes it possible for him to have them participate in efforts organized by the church jointly with the other communities.
GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: “The Robert Bellarmine community and the Korean community have honored me with different awards,” said Coccia. “I’ve been accepted by all the parish community. That has been my greatest achievement.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Trying to keep all the communities together,” he said. “We have many communities – senior citizens, Filipino, Irish, Italian, Korean — and I try to keep all of them together on the same page.”
INSPIRATION: “Father Henry Lang. He was a pastor who passed away a few years back. He was a wonderful man. When I lost two children, he was there to guide my wife and me spiritually.”
- Star of Queens: Joseph Thompson, president, Howard Beach Civilian Observation Patrol
- Star of Queens: Thao-Nguyen Le, co-director, Vietnam Heritage Center
- Star of Queens: Harold Rutgers, contributor, Jewelers For Children