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Michael P. Cerretto
Michael Patrick Cerretto
Basilian priest. American. Ordained 1969.
Arrested in 1997 for exposing himself in a Houston adult bookstore and movie theatre.
Taught at various Basilian high schools; Catholic Central in Detroit, Aquinas Institute in Rochester, Andrean High School in Gary Indiana, St. Thomas High School in Houston, Texas.
30 August 1997: Father Michael Cerretto arrested on lewdness charges after exposing himself at an adult bookstore
28 August 2014: Died, age 74in Rochester, New York
2012: instructor with the diaconate program in New Mexico (according to his obituary he served in the Las Cruces Diocese in New Mexico after he retired)
Thursday, August 16, I met with permanent deacons Lou Roman (He also is the Chancellor of the Diocese.) and Bob Brotherton, Father Michael Cerretto (Instructor with the Deacon Program), David McNamara (in charge of special projects and photography for the Diocese), and Christy Anchondo (editor/graphic artist in charge of Aqua Viva, the Diocese newspaper) to discuss the online needs of the Deacon Program. It was agreed that I would head up a pilot project to implement an appropriate online solution for the permanent deacons. If successful, it could lead to similar solutions for other diocesan programs.
May 2012: Listed as President of Basilian Fathers of Las Cruces, Inc. ( Father Cerretto President Basilian Fathers of La Cruces)
2012: In Canada.
2012: Basilian Fathers of Toronto board (Basilian Fathers of Toronto 2012) (Other board members include Father Thomas Rosica, Tim Scott and Kevin Storey)
2011: Director of the Basilian Fathers of Toronto board (The Basilian Fathers of Toronto charity June 2011) (also on Board: Father Kevin Storey, Thomas Rosica)
? date: returned to Las Cruces, New Mexico – served at the Cathedral until health problems accused him to return to Rochester (Obit – New Mexico)
2001: Secretary General of the Basilian Congregation in Toronto, Ontario (Obit – New Mexico)
? date: Las Cruces, New Mexico
– Parish ministry in Hatch, New Mexico
– Cathedral of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
– helped set up Catholic School Board
– involved in the Permanent Diaconate program
1994: became Principal St. Thomas High School, Houston, Texas
1988-1994: Principal at Andrean HS (The Times, Munster Indiana, 25 Oct. 2011)
Taught at Aquinas Institute and Andrean High School in Merrillville IN for 45 years – six of those as Principal at Andrean HS. (Obit)
– graduated from Aquinas Institute and St. John Fischer College (Obit)
– riaded in Rochester, NY (Obit – New Mexiso)
Principal leaves Andrian laughing
13 May 1994
MERRILLVILLE – In his six years as principal of Andrean High School, the Rev. Michael Cerretto remembers many achievements:
Expanding the guidance center. Starting a teacher in-service program.
Mandating a geography class for students. Requiring parents and their children to meet with coaches before the season.
But students at Andrean remember Cerretto, who’s leaving the school this year, for something else.
“His strange sense of humor,” senior Jim Sur said. “He’ll say like the weirdest things. He’ll just be as blunt as hell.”
Indeed, Cerretto is known for his humor, agreed senior Chijioke Mbanu. The 18-year-old said Cerretto frequently surprises students on the public address system, sometimes after seeing classes through the window of his office.
“He’ll say, ‘Hey, you, sit down,’ ” Mbanu said. “He’ll always say something to get someone’s attention. He’s always funny.”
Indeed, Cerretto has a sense of humor. He’s also blunt. Cerretto’s precise with his wording, and he minced no words when he complained about sensational treatment from the media or when he talked about his goals as a principal.
“The betterment of the church and of the child, and of the child’s right not to be exploited,” he said of his goals.
After the senior class graduates June 12, Cerretto plans to go home to Rochester, N.Y. His mother is planning a Mass and a dinner with 200 guests to honor his 25 years as a priest.
And then Cerretto will move to Houston, where he will become principal of St. Thomas High School, another of the schools run by the Basilian Fathers, a small Catholic order based in Toronto.
Cerretto has been at Andrean for 12 years – six as principal and six teaching business, theology, the Old Testament and morality.
He’s seen a lot in those years. Before Andrean, Cerretto was in Rochester.
He never taught in a coed school before Andrean. He learned.
“In the beginning, you try to be nicer to the girls, but you realize you can’t,” he said. “You have to use the word ‘student’ in a nongender way.”
Cerretto said he has appreciated the relationship that Andrean has had with public schools and with the Gary Diocese.
“Here you have a tremendous support,” he said.
Cerretto also enjoys the interaction the school has had with the community.
On Wednesday afternoon, he attended a lunch with 10 students at the Lions Club. During the lunch, a student received a scholarship from the Rotary Club.
“Around here, we’re always included,” Cerretto said. “It’s really nice how we’ve fit in.”
Besides spending time at Andrean, Cerretto spends time traveling, preaching and reading novels.
The book now on his desk is “Bishop as Pawn,” a novel by William X. Kienzle set in the Basilian Fathers parish in Detroit, where he’s been. Cerretto’s almost finished with the book.
Cerretto has other reading material around his office, including a copy of the Houston school newspaper, The Eagle. Cerretto’s open-minded about the switch from a ’59er mascot to an eagle.
“I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my life,” he said.
Yet his absence will be noticed by students – especially the younger ones.
Mention his name in the hallways, and you’ll get laughs and anecdotes.
“He never has a lack of food in his office,” senior George Kucka said. “From the beginning – especially freshman and sophomore year – he’ll try to be all hard. He’ll intimidate you with his voice. He’ll scare you.
“Junior and senior year, you can joke around with him and play around with him.”