A war with three major battles might be the best way to characterize the life of Father John Civiello '59. His current life of contentedly tending his flock and playing golf represents the peace following a lifetime struggle - first to gain an education, second to overcome a brain tumor, and third to attain his goal of being ordained into the priesthood.
The progress of the battle was not steady, and certainly not easy, but by his senior year he was having the thrill of his life - greater even than being named All-State in both football and basketball. He was reading and learning.
After graduation from Stearns High School and a summer of working in the mills, his first attempt to advance his education led to a yearlong set back. He'd hardly arrived at prep school in Massachusetts when he became ill and had to return home. After a long period of recuperating, he had to have a crushed knee cap - an old Football injury - surgically repaired.
The next year, academically, he took all the courses MCI would allow and audited Latin and physics as well. He played basketball at MCI and under the tutelage of his roommate, Wayne Lawton '59, was introduced to golf, which later became his lifelong recreational passion.
At MCI he continued to earn and pay his own way through his graduation from Seminary as St. Xavier University in Antigonish. N.S., his major victory in Latin class led his renewing his goal of the priesthood.
Father John had experienced the attainment of his goal - to be ordained and serve God as a priest. At his ordainment were gathered many of his special friends and his family. Fr. John has been pastor of St. Ann's Church on Indian Island in Old Town, Maine and recently at St. Patrick's Church in Portland.
Maine Sports Hall of Fame
P.O. Box 2
Cumberland, ME 04021
Phone (207) 807-7666
The Maine Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1972 for the purpose of: 1) appointing and bestowing recognition awards and scholarships to outstanding Maine high school scholar-athletes; and, 2) to formally honor and memorialize Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and honor to the state of Maine.