Rector of the Church of Santa Susanna
Father Greg Apparcel returned to Santa Susanna in 2004 after an absence of nearly two years to become the 11th Rector of the Church of Santa Susanna. Father Paul Robichaud invited Father Greg to be the Vice Rector when he began his own term as Rector in 1996. Six years later, Father Greg returned to Los Angeles to be the Vice President of Paulist Productions, where he assisted in the research, selling and making of religious films and documentaries for television. Having thrown a great many coins in the Trevi Fountain before he left, the call was strong to come back to Rome, and when the offer was made to be the new rector, Father Greg said “yes” immediately.
Before his first term in Rome, Father Greg also worked at Paulist Productions, the film and television unit of the Paulist Fathers in Pacific Palisades, California. He facilitated the Humanitas Master Writers Workshops and assisted in the casting of the motion picture “Entertaining Angels,” about the early life of Catholic social activitist, Dorothy Day (starring Moira Kelly and Martin Sheen). At Paulist Productions, Father Greg sought to encourage the good that he knew Hollywood could produce and through his writing seminars, sought to assist young screenwriters in passing on human values in their scripts.
Father Greg’s grandfather was born and raised in Martina Franca, a 13th century medieval walled village in the Puglia region. Occasionally, he has visited his many cousins and discovered that he is actually one of three priests in the family. Born in Alhambra, California, just down the road from Hollywood, a love of the film industry became an early part of Father Greg’s identity. A young protégé of movies and television, he received his degree in these fields from the University of California at Los Angeles U.C.L.A., and later earned a Master’s degree in Public Heath Education (also at U.C.L.A.) before entering the Paulist seminary in 1978. Getting an M.A. in Theology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., Father Greg was ordained a priest in May of 1983 and served first as chaplain at Clemson University in South Carolina and then as Assistant Pastor at Old St. Mary’s Church in San Francisco, during which time he earned a third Master’s degree in Pastoral Liturgy from Santa Clara University. In 1992, Father Greg joined Paulist Productions and the Humanitas Prize organization for a four year stint, followed by his first assignment in Rome. Aside from the usual parish duties, he was the chaplain at Marymount International School, served as Director of our English-language library, officiated at over 300 American weddings and was the weekly film critic on Vatican Radio.
In April 2005, Fr. Greg assisted CNN International in covering the days following the death of Pope John Paul II. This included the Pope’s funeral, the opening of the Conclave and the announcement of the new Pope, Benedict XVI. Since then, Fr. Greg does an occasional interview including his May 2006 appearance with Matt Lauer on the Today Show in the middle of St. Peter’s Square. The topic that day was the film version of a particular popular novel by Dan Brown. However, Fr. Greg mostly spends his time being the new Rector of St. Patrick's Church (San Patrizio a Villa Ludovisi) and the official Chaplain to the U.S. Faithful Residing in Rome.
To contact Fr. Greg, click here.