Edward was an absolute saint to work with (pun obviously intended). To be honest, I was quite nervous about telling his story. I knew that our lives were very contrasting, and I hoped that our differences would create a beautiful collaboration and clash in ways that would open people’s eyes instead of create tension.
I’m really proud of the outcome.
I had preconceived notions about Catholicism and the strictness of the rules he lives by which I’m now quite ashamed of. Edward’s willingness to be vulnerable, and his openness to my process were such a gift. I owe him many thanks for opening my mind and my heart today. I learned that priests are no less complex than any other human being and that they too are imperfect.
Edward gave a fantastic interview in which he gifted us all (any race, religion or reality) with a genuine and relatable sense of approachability and warmth.
Thank you Edward for your time and for sharing your passion for what you do with me.
Q: Why did you choose to live in your state/city/town?
A: Because Passionist Community (my religious congregation) have a house here and I was assigned to live here (Pelham)
Q: What is your favorite brunch spot nearby?
A: B&B Fifth Avenue, Pelham
Q: Best cup of coffee in the neighborhood?
A: Don't really drink coffee. I'm an iced tea (or hot tea) guy. Best in B&B
Q: Is there one morning ritual you can’t live without?
A: Prayer, read NY Times, watch CNN, make breakfast - fruit and toast with peanut butter
Q: What’s your favorite ‘80s or ’90s jam?
A: Don't really have 80's or 90's jam. I have favorite recording artists: Carly Simon (all time favorite), Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra, Melissa Manchester
Q: Where was the last place you traveled to? What’s one not-to-miss activity there?
A: Los Angeles. Mix of ocean, desert, mountains, and unique mix of neighborhoods.
Q: Do you prefer traveling by train or car? If in the car, are you a driver, a passenger or a backseat driver?
A: Like train to read and relax. If I drive, I'm usually the driver.
For a deeper dive, listen to Edward’s full interview below!
Edward's journal entry transcribed:
So often as a priest my life tends to be about other people — as it should be — their struggles, sufferings, joys, accomplishments. I’m called to be with others when they fell most alone or abandoned. But often I don't get to talk about me and my struggles, or formative influences or self-doubts. People assume that because I am a priest that I have it all together, and that I don’t need them as much as they need me. Todays interview with Eli was a wonderful and powerful opportunity for me to take some time from the normal pattern of my day to focus a bit on me — not in a self-serving way but in a self-revelatory way. I heard myself articulate some things that I have felt but have never really voiced — in particular about the death of my father. I also was acutely aware of how blessed by life has been — more blessed than so many others whom I accompany. I get to do what I feel called to do, and also connect to to things I love and am attracted to doing. In talking about my life I realize how rare it is to be in my position — not all perfect, of course, but truly blessed, living a life that has meaning, not only for me but hopefully for others as well. I also realized today that I need to spend even more “self-reflective” time. To pay attention to my feelings more and to not push them aside because they might not fit the norm or expectation of others. I will be a better priest and human being the more authentic and the more accessible that I am. Perfection and priesthood both begin with the same letter “p”, but they are not the same thing at all. And shouldn’t be.
Eli Dagostino’s zest for life has been celebrated on the stages of SNL, on the pages of Vanity Fair, in the seats of Carnegie Hall and by the MET museum and Squarespace.