Monsignor Ferrando was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the third of six children to Grace and Nicholas Ferrando He was accepted into the St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto in 1936.
On May 30, 1942, at St. Michael's Cathedral, Toronto, Monsignor was ordained by the late Cardinal James Charles McGuigan, Archbishop of Toronto. He celebrated his first solemn Mass the next day at St. Agnes' Church in Toronto.
Monsignor Ferrando's first four years as parish priest were spent at St. Helen's Church in Toronto. It was during this time that the pattern was set that would identify his future ministry. His motto was “get the youth to work closely with the priest for a common purpose and you bring them closer together like a Catholic family.” Thus began a career that rightfully marked Monsignor Ferrando as an active leader in the community. Dramatics, sports, socials, scout and guide movements, concerts, retreats, picnics and camping were some of the major events that brought many together in lasting friendships.
In 1946, when appointed assistant pastor to St. Ann's parish in Niagara Falls, Monsignor Ferrando found the youth of the community yearning for leadership and direction. Consequently, the young and energetic priest received an eager response to his call to action. Monsignor Ferrando enriched the parochial life at St. Ann's and the community with exciting projects that eventually involved not only the youth and adults of the parish, but men and women from across the city.
In 1951, Monsignor Ferrando was appointed pastor of St. Ann's Church in Niagara Falls. When immigration was opened after the war and a large number of Italians immigrated to the Niagara area, Monsignor made himself available as counselor and information centre to direct the new arrivals to proper agencies, job opportunities, etc. He also conducted classes in basic English, helped with a wide variety of interpretation cases and proxy marriages by the dozen.
His efforts did not go unnoticed. In 1952, Monsignor Ferrando was chosen “Outstanding Young Man of the Year” by the Greater Niagara Junior Chamber of Commerce. In 1954, Pope Pius XII honoured the young Father Ferrando with the Title of “Monsignor.”
The leadership qualities that earned Monsignor Ferrando the pastorate of St. Ann's Church, in 1951, led him to assume the office of pastor of St. Mary's Parish, Welland, in 1955. His skills were soon tested when he undertook the monumental task of establishing the separate school system in Welland. For the first five years, the administration of the schools was conducted by Monsignor Ferrando from the rectory, free of charge. During his thirteen years as a trustee, five of which he served as chairman, the system grew as new schools were added. As chairman, he recruited teachers from Ireland, Scotland and England when Ontario experienced a shortage of teachers. He also initiated the day care nursery of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In 1958, when the St. Catharines Diocese was created, Bishop Thomas J. McCarthy appointed Monsignor Ferrando to the following offices: Consulter to the Bishop; Diocesan Director to the Society of the Propagation of the Faith; Diocesan Director of the Holy Childhood Association. Later, Monsignor became Diocesan Director of Religious Education, a position he held for eight years and Diocesan Director of the League of Mary, which he still holds today. He also served several terms on the Senate of Priests.
On April 9, 1976, Monsignor Ferrando became pastor of Our Lady of the Scapular Church, Niagara Falls, where he is credited with accomplishing a great many projects in a relatively short span of time.
In 1990, Monsignor Vincent James Ferrando received his Doctorate in Humane Letters, Honoris Caus, at Niagara University, Lewiston, NY, in recognition of this contribution to Catholic education in Welland and the diocese.
On May 30, 2002, Monsignor Vincent Ferrando celebrated his 60th Anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. In 2005, at the National Convention, Monsignor Ferrando received the prestigious Sons of Italy Award for long standing faithful service.
Monsignor Vincent Ferrando has made outstanding contributions to Catholic education in the Niagara region and is proudly presented with the Niagara Catholic Education Award of Distinction for 2006.