Fr. Charles Mangano
On a warm summer evening in 1999, a young charismatic priest stood in front of a microphone before 40,000 people in Lourdes, France. A deafening silence fell over the crowd as he began to sing the words of "Gentle Woman", a ballad praising Mary, the Mother of God. Yet if this priest had listened to the words of a music teacher from his childhood this moment would have never taken place.
Father Charles' musical interests began at the age of twelve. Although his music teacher told him that he was tone deaf, he persevered through the encouragement of his family and the grace of God. At sixteen he was playing guitar and singing for a weekly prayer group. Over the next several years, Father Charles played with the family band, entered CYO competitions, played for various church functions and was in an off Broadway production.
Father Charles' love of music developed into a much deeper and stronger love - his love of the Lord. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest for the diocese of Rockville Centre in 1990. Shortly after, he began to integrate his music into his priestly ministry. "Through my music, I hope to bring people closer to God and to aid them in their journey toward wholeness and integration". It was during his first assignment at St. Catherine of Sienna that people began to encourage him to share his gift of music by recording it professionally. Through the encouragement and financial backing of his parishioners, family and friends, Father Charles released his first album, LEAD ME LORD, in the fall of 1992. Due to the overwhelming response, he soon began work on his second album, I CALL YOU FRIEND, and enlisted the vocal talent of his sister Laurie, and the services of musical arranger, Angelo DiPippo.
Father Charles and Laurie produced seven additional albums, THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS, TRUST HIS HEART, CELEBRATE JESUS, A CHRISTMAS PRAYER, GOD'S UNBELIEVABLE LOVE and a multi-disc ROSARY CD along with producing videos and a DVD of their major concert events. They have performed internationally and completed ten seasons as hosts of their own television show, a program of faith sharing, music and prayer on Long Island’s Telecare Network. They have appeared at countless venues from "Nights of Recollection" at local parishes to sold-out concerts at The Theatre at Westbury, the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts at Alice Tully Hall, and Avery Fisher Hall in New York as well as the Cathedral Basilica of St. James, Brooklyn. Their goal has always been the same, to convey the awesome love of God so that people will be touched with a renewed sense of faith and the courage to live it out.
A portion of the proceeds from all album sales and ticketed events go to several charities, including Little Flower Children's and Family Services of New York, Catholic Charities, The Life Center of Long Island, Father Thomas Hartman Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Inc., Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation for Catholic Elementary School Education, the Carol Baldwin Breast Care Center and the West Maui Domestic Abuse Task Force. To date, Father Charles and Laurie have donated in excess of $325,000 to these and other worthwhile causes.
Father Charles continues in his primary vocation as a parish priest. He is currently pastor of the Curé of Ars Church in Merrick, New York. He has also taken an active role in fostering vocations to the priesthood and religious life by leading annual vocation pilgrimages. Father Charles continues to pray that God will be glorified through his priesthood, which he has consecrated to Our Lady.