St. Margaret Church’s newest priest is a Middle Village native

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Anthony Giudice /Gallery photos courtesy Father Nicholas Colalella

A son of Middle Village has just been ordained a father.

Nicholas Colalella was raised in Middle Village and attended Saint Margaret School as a youth. It was there that he began his journey of faith, which has just come full circle.

“It was great growing up in Middle Village,” Colalella said. “We used to walk and ride our bikes all over the place. I was always in Juniper Park. I always came to church [at St. Margaret] with my grandparents to the Italian Mass. I participated in their St. Joseph’s feasts. I am very much a product of the Italian community in Middle Village.”

On June 27, at the age of 24, Colalella was ordained a priest and was assigned to his home parish of St. Margaret for the summer. The next morning, he celebrated his first Mass at St. Margaret before family, friends and members of the community that have helped him on his journey to priesthood.

“It came very naturally, it all came naturally,” Colalella said of celebrating his first Mass. “It was a very joyous and happy occasion. It was quite fulfilling. The church was packed. There were a lot of people who haven’t been to Middle Village or St. Margaret’s in a long time that came back for the Mass. It was a nice occasion for the community and the parish to come together.”

As a teen, Colalella attended Xavier High School, where he made the decision to join the priesthood.

“Probably in high school is when I made the serious decision,” Colalella said. “I was in the military program and there was an image of St. Ignatius that always captured my imagination. It was Ignatius taking off his armor and putting it in front of a statue of Mary … and that kind of spoke to me because I was thinking about military and we were encouraged to think about a military career in high school and that image made me think about the priesthood.”

Colalella is currently enrolled in the Biblical Institute in Rome where he is studying biblical languages. He was sent to work in St. Margaret Parish for the summer before returning to Rome in September to continue his studies.

As part of the St. Margaret parish, in addition to saying Mass on a daily basis, Colalella makes Communion calls, visits the homebound, offers prayers at wakes and, as a priest, will be able to offer funeral Masses and officiate weddings.

“I would love to come back and be in the parish,” Colalella said of his future. “I would like to teach what I’ve learned; maybe teaching would be an option.”