Yonkers priest to broadcast on live TV during pope visit
The Rev. Andrew Carrozza pulls pranks, tells jokes and teaches the Catholic Gospel all within an hour every Sunday as the pastor of St. Ann’s Church in Yonkers.
Come Friday morning, he’ll be doing much of the same in front of a larger audience during WCBS’s television broadcast of Pope Francis’ historic visit to New York City.
Carrozza was the only tri-state area priest who was chosen by CBS for the broadcast. He’ll be responding to questions posed by CBS news anchor Mary Calvi, who grew up in Yonkers, during the pope’s 8:30 a.m. Friday sermon to the United Nations, and the pope’s departure from New York City to Philadelphia at 8:40 a.m. Saturday.
Calvi said Carrozza was chosen because of his “tremendous insight” about Pope Francis. Having met Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict, she said he has a personal knowledge of the papacy, and the two will discuss the impact of the pope’s address internationally and locally.
“It’s an honor,” Carrozza said. “There are so many people that have so much more public recognition that they could’ve called, but I think they wanted a parish priest because Pope Francis is so much into the ordinary people.”
In his Yonkers parish, Carrozza is known for his humor and pranks.
As part of his homily during last year’s Pentecost, Carrozza pretended to welcome legendary New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera as a surprise guest speaker to create a sense of excitement among the parishioners.
He called Rivera’s name twice to a rousing ovation from the audience, but Rivera never showed. Carrozza threw his hands up as if he was shocked the now-retired Yankee closer didn’t walk up to the altar.
“OK, I didn’t really hire Mariano Rivera,” Carrozza said in a video of the homily. “But suppose I did. I guarantee you when you went home, you’d tell everybody, ‘You’ll never guess what our pastor did. He had Mariano Rivera here.’ And you’d hang onto every word he said, and you’d remember everything he said.”
Carrozza went on to say Jesus was in the room, and the audience should listen as if Rivera were there.
That’s how Carrozza keeps audiences captivated. That’s how he teaches. And that’s how he’ll be sharing his knowledge of the papacy on live TV.