Father Virgil Cordano O.F.M. (December 3, 1919 – May 22, 2008) was the long-time pastor of the Santa Barbara Mission.
Born to a Roman Catholic Italian immigrant family in Sacramento, California, Father Cordano came to Santa Barbara, California in 1934 to study at the adjacent St. Anthony's College Seminary, then the primary training ground in California for the Franciscan Order (Friars Minor, or OFM). Except for graduate work at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., Cordano spent his entire career at the Santa Barbara Mission. He was chosen to be the official Santa Barbara greeter of Queen Elizabeth II during her 1983 visit to the town.
Father Cordano died at age 89 on May 22, 2008.
Distinctions and Awards
The Virgil Cordano Chair for Catholic Studies and the Virgil Cordano, OFM, Endowment in Catholic Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) are named in honor of Fr. Cordano. Professor Ann Taves, PhD, currently serves as the Virgil Cordano Chair of Catholic Studies.