To the Editor:

For The Main Street WIRE to print an article on the front page attacking the character of a Catholic priest, who served our parish for 12 years, based on anonymous sources, is unethical and disgusting.

Is The Wire now turning into The National Inquirer? The town gossip newspaper? The Roosevelt Island community deserves better than brainwashing and manipulative gossip. Would a Jewish rabbi or a Muslim imam be attacked in such a manner, especially if they were no longer serving the Roosevelt Island community? Why is it okay to attack and defame the Catholic Church and its priests?

Regarding sacrament records, all records were kept intact and up to date during Fr. Miqueli’s time on the Island. Regarding the Thrift Shop, it was running and functional during Fr. Miqueli’s time. When he was serving, the parish reached its annual Cardinal’s Appeal goals and was self-sufficient!

Fr. Miqueli welcomed parishioners of all backgrounds. Although I grew up on the Island and attended Mass every Sunday, I never quite felt completely welcomed until Fr. Miqueli became pastor. He encouraged me to use my talents and teach CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) [classes] to the parish children. Additionally, I served in the parish office and even went to the March for Life in Washington, DC. Did you know that Fr. Miqueli gave secret Thanksgiving dinners to underprivileged families on the Island?

These allegations and attacks against Fr. Miqueli are led by a small group of bitter individuals on Roosevelt Island and in the Bronx who feel that the Catholic Church is their personal possession to use, abuse, and take advantage of. They seldom give any money in the collections to support the needs of the parish and its mission to the community.

Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as well as our enemies, but Jesus never said to impress them! People have a problem with Fr. Miqueli because he doesn’t try to impress them!

Nathalie Essomba


The Publisher responds: We believe the importance of the report speaks for itself, and that it rises well above mere “gossip.” Many sources who supplied information for the article on Fr. Miqueli were very concerned about their identities becoming public, but nothing in the article was based on anonymous letters, emails, or phone calls; each source was known to The WIRE. Wherever possible, information was cross-checked with other sources, some of whom were willing to be named.


To the Editor:

My congratulations to Linda Heimer and Dick Lutz on a terrific piece of investigative journalism in the September 12 WIRE, “Former RI Priest Under Fire in Bronx.”

This is fresh, shocking, and brave.

The piece is meticulously put together, at once careful and courageous, bringing to print a story of malfeasance (to use the most charitable word) that has never been examined publicly.

You have performed a public service.

Judy Buck

To the Editor:

I was the bookkeeper at the Cabrini office on Roosevelt Island and Fr. Miqueli fired me within days of his arrival. I met his friend, who he tried to introduce as a priest. I agree he is a disgrace to the priesthood and should be removed.

Hope Dietsch


To the Editor:

I am interested to see if anyone in the community would like to meet informally to discuss the possibility/value of an open, frank, but non-confrontational community get-together on race and racism – in the US as well as on Roosevelt Island? There was some good talk after the Charleston memorial in June, and this might be a good way to meet and get to know our neighbors better. Let me know if you are interested, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (212) 980-1349. Thanks.

Jennifer Dunning


To the Editor:

Regarding biking the helix, I have a solution we can all live with.

I love to ride my bike, but I am willing to use the elevator going up. (That’s what I already do.) On the return trip, after a long bike ride, making it over the uphill of the bridge, I truly enjoy riding my bike down the helix.

The secret to my success so far is simple. Just before I’m about to go down the ramp, I look back to make sure there are no cars or trucks coming over the bridge. When I see a nice break in the traffic, off I go for a thrilling ride down the ramp. This works for me; perhaps others can use common sense, too.

On another safety topic, let’s talk about Vernon Boulevard. As a biker, I am okay with the cement barriers; but as a car driver, who first encountered them on a rainy night, I found them hard to see. With the barriers, the mid-street islands, and the double-parked cars, Vernon has been turned into an obstacle course. The barriers are not continuous, but pop up in a surprisingly sporadic fashion that could cause accidents. At the very least, the barriers should be painted with bright red-and-white stripes so they can be better seen.

Neal Weissman

Tags: Letters

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