Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Services Scheduled Thursday for August Moretti, IALA Chaplain
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Services will be held Thursday and Friday for Monsignor August Moretti, chaplain of the Italian American Lawyers Association of Los Angeles County since its founding over 30 years ago.
Moretti, who died Saturday at age 80 after a months-long battle with cancer, was “an institution of the Italian American Lawyers Association since its founding,” IALA President Eugene Varanini told the MetNews. A canon lawyer, “he was known for his keen legal mind as well as his wit,” Varanini said.
He was honored last month with induction into the IALA Hall of Fame. While he was unable to attend due to his illness, Varanini said, family members were there “and we were able to talk about how much Msgr. Moretti meant to all of us.”
Supervisor Mike Antonovich said he will move to adjourn today’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors in his memory. Antonovich and the board honored Moretti several years ago when he completed 50 years in the priesthood.
Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Robert Mallano, who called the monsignor a very dear friend, described Moretti as “a Leonardo Da Vinci-type” with many interests.
They met in the 1970s when Moretti was the head of the local tribunal th at rules on requests for annulments of Catholic marriages and Mallano was a volunteer advocate before the panel.
Moretti, Mallano recalled, regaled him with his recollections of having completed the Giro d’Italia, or Tour of Italy, a bicycle road race over a course of more than 1,500 miles, and of being forced to share his house with occupying Germans in Rome during World War II.
He was also “a very accomplished photographer” who earned his living taking pictures of houses for realtors before becoming a priest, and once built his own television set, Mallano said.
According to church sources, Moretti was retired from Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Pasadena, where he had served from 1984. He was ordained in 1954 and spent his early years of priesthood as associate pastor and high school teacher in several parishes.
He returned to Rome during the last session of the Vatican II Council in order to study canon law. After earning a doctoral degree in the subject, he returned to Los Angeles and was appointed associate director of the Matrimonial
Curia, of which he was named director in 1976.
He received the title of monsignor in 1974 and the added title of prelate of honor in 1978.
A rosary service and vigil are to take place Thursday at 7:30 p.m., with funeral Friday at 11:00 am; Cardinal Roger Mahony is scheduled to preside
Both services will take place at Assumption Parish, 2640 E. Orange, Pasadena 91107.
Copyright 2009, Metropolitan News Company