An ‘amazing’ visit with Pope Francis in Rome

An ‘amazing’ visit with Pope Francis in Rome

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Staten Island priest and former Monsignor Farrell High School principal Monsignor Edmund J. Whalen, who was recently met with Pope Francis in Rome.

Whalen referred to the experience as “amazing.”“He spoke directly to us about forclosenesses it was almost like a little retreat that he was able to give us,” recalled Whalen, who visited the pope with Msgr. Gerardo L. Colacicco, Bishop Peter Byrne and Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

“It was a family setting,” Dolan said about the visit in a video shared on Twitter.

Whalen added that Pope Francis talked to the four about “closenesses to God, to prayer, a closeness to our priests, a closeness to our people and a closenesses to the collegiality of the priests working together.”

During his youth, he was a member of the Blessed Sacrament R.C. Parish in West Brighton.

According to the Archdiocese, he went from Blessed Sacrament School to Monsignor Farrell High School. He graduated from the school in 1976, and later taught religion at the school, becoming chair of the Religion Department.

Whalen was ordained in 1984.

He returned to Rome and completed a doctorate in moral theology at the Academia Alfonsiana in 1995. He was named pastor of St. Joseph-St. Thomas R.C. Church in Pleasant Plains in 2007, where he served until 2010, when he became Farrell’s principal.