Monsignor John A. Alesandro
Church of St. Ignatius Loyola
Hicksville, NY 11801-4295
John Anthony Alesandro was born in Woodhaven, New York, on August 25, 1941. He was educated at St. Thomas the Apostle School, Woodhaven; Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception, Brooklyn; Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington (B.A. magna cum laude); and North American College, Rome (completing his Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Gregorian University cum laude in 1967). He was ordained to the priesthood in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome on December 17, 1966.
After serving as associate pastor at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hempstead for a year, Father Alesandro returned to the Gregorian University in Rome to pursue a doctorate in Canon Law, which he was awarded summa cum laude in 1971. Upon his return to the Diocese of Rockville Centre, he served as adjutant judicial vicar of the diocesan Tribunal. In 1974, he was appointed vice-chancellor of the diocese and in 1978, chancellor. In 1980, Father Alesandro was named an honorary prelate by Pope John Paul II with the title “Monsignor.”
While serving as chancellor, Msgr. Alesandro returned to the study of law, graduating from St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, New York, in 1994, earning his degree summa cum laude and addressing the graduates as class valedictorian. In 1995, he was named Episcopal Vicar for the Western Vicariate of the diocese and Vicar for Administration. In 2000, he was named by Bishop James McHugh as Vicar General of the diocese. Following the untimely death of Bishop McHugh in December 2000, Msgr. Alesandro was elected by the College of Consultors as Diocesan Administrator, a position he held until the installation of Bishop William Murphy in September 2001. At that time, he was reappointed Vicar General and also Moderator of the Curia. In June 2002, while retaining the faculties of vicar general, he was appointed pastor of St. Dominic Parish, Oyster Bay, New York, and was also honored by the Holy Father with the rank of Protonotary Apostolic Supernumerary. Completing his six-year term as pastor in 2008, Msgr. Alesandro was granted a six-month sabbatical to teach in the School of Canon Law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and, while there, to do research and writing in the canon law of marriage. In 2009 the University named him “Distinguished Lecturer” in the School of Canon Law. Msgr. Alesandro currently teaches at the Catholic University of America and resides there at Curley Hall.
A member of the Canon Law Society of America since 1971, Monsignor Alesandro is currently chair of its Publication Advisory Board. Previously, he served in various positions, including consultor, vice-president, president and past president and on many of its committees as member and chair, including the Research and Discussion Committee, the Marriage Research Committee, the American Jurisprudence Project, and the Publications Task Force. He has also been a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America since 1971.
Monsignor Alesandro served over a twenty-year period as consultant to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Canonical Affairs Committee. He also served as a special canonical consultant to the NCCB’s Doctrine Committee that drafted the conference document entitled “Doctrinal Responsibilities.” In 1981, was appointed as peritus (expert consultant) to the NCCB’s Delegation to the Vatican Commission on the Revision of the Code of Canon Law. In 1993 he was named a member of the Papal joint commission on the judicial process of dismissal, culminating in his authorship of the NCCB document Sexual Misconduct and Canonical Dismissal from the Clerical State. In 1998 he was named a member of the subcommittee charged with drafting the Application of Ex corde Ecclesiae for the United States, which was subsequently approved by the Apostolic See. In 1985, he was appointed by then Governor Mario Cuomo as a member of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, a position he held until 2007.
Monsignor Alesandro has written numerous articles on canon law and in 1983 collaborated with other members of the Canon Law Society of America to produce The Code of Canon Law: A Text and Commentary. He is the author of the “General Introduction” in that work as well as the chapter on diocesan governance. He also authored a major article on physician-assisted suicide and New York law published by the Albany Law Review in 1994. Monsignor Alesandro has taught in many venues, particularly in the field of marriage for several years at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington and in July 2007 and July 2008 at the School of Canon Law at Catholic University of America. He has conducted many workshops on canon law and has addressed many professional societies of the years, most recently presenting a major address at the Annual Convention of the Canon Law Society of America (October 2007) which was later published in Origins (11/15/07). He is scheduled to give an address on marriage at the annual meeting of the Eastern Regional Canon Law Conference in May 2009 and a major paper at the annual meeting of the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland in May 2010.
Monsignor Alesandro’s parents, Joseph E. and Mary Jo (Bevilacqua) Alesandro, are both deceased. He has two brothers, Joseph and Michael; a sister, Jody; two nieces and four nephews. Monsignor Alesandro is the nephew of Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia, a renowned canon lawyer.
Monsignor Alesandro is also an accomplished musician, playing the piano and three other instruments. As a seminarian, he directed the orchestra at North American College in Rome, and, as a priest, he worked with teens in directing and producing approximately fifteen musical plays, including My Fair Lady, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Anything Goes, and Oliver.
John Alesandro Curriculum Vitae