A monthly series in Vincentian Voices that asks five random questions to an Eastern Province Priest or Brother. This month, we talk with Fr. Charlie Strollo C.M. . Fr. Charlie is the Assistant Formator of DeAndreis House, the Vincentian’s Theologate house in Philadelphia. He is also the local Superior there.
What was your favorite course or subject in school and why?
My favorite course in school was American literature. I enjoyed reading about a variety of periods in our history. I have discovered new periods in our history that I was never aware of that have broadened my appreciation of American literature. I became very interested in the political situations of these periods and continue to develop new interests in the political situations of this period of time.
What movie have you seen the most times? Please explain.
I have seen three different movies five times each. One was Young Frankenstein with the classic cast that still makes me laugh out loud. Another was My Big Fat Greek Wedding which had some great lines about New York Greek culture. Another was Sleepless in Seattle which simply was both funny and touching. I distinctly remember taking five different friends to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
I find it a prayerful imaginative experience of the back stories of those whose lives were upended by the encounter with Jesus. I am particularly struck how I can recognize in myself and many other ordinary people today. Each time I view a segment I see new things in biblical stories that I never suspected.
If you could ask Saint Vincent de Paul one question, what is the question and why?
If I could ask Vincent de Paul one question, the question I would ask is this: What gave you the insight and the desire to involve priests and lay people, particularly women, as pastoral agents in the evangelization of the poor? How did this come about on an experiential level?
Besides connecting with family and friends, what do you like to do in your free time?
Besides connecting with family and friends, my activities in my free time run along these lines: workouts at the gym; jogging in 10 mile races; playing some baseball ( hitting it around); going to sporting events( normally Phillies baseball games or even a spring training week and sometimes a basketball game with the Sixers); watching sporting events( Phillies; Eagles; Sixers; local college basketball; March Madness); going to some concerts ( when I can); playing cards with the family; reading; listening to different varieties of music; and some Netflix.
If you could have dinner with one non-religious historical figure (dead or alive), who would it be and why? What might you ask them?
If I could have dinner with one non-religious historical figure, it would be Martin Luther King and Coretta King. I would choose them because Civil rights remains to this day a social justice for all Americans in dealing with discrimination and/or prejudices. I would ask them this question: How did you muster the vision and the courage to stand up to and to deal with so many struggles-especially with the Vietnam War going on at the same time?