St. Stephen's welcomes Rev. Raynor Santiago as new Parochial Vicar
Photo by Roger Gavan
The Rev. Reynor Santiago is the new Parochial Vicar at Warwick's Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr.
WARWICK — This past June Rev. Jack Arlotta, pastor of Warwick's RC Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr, broke the news that Parochial Vicar, Father Richard Marrano, had been appointed administrator, a short step before becoming pastor, of the Church of St. John Chrysostom in the Bronx. And that as of Aug. 1, Rev. Raynor Santiago had been assigned to replace Marrano as Parochial Vicar. Santiago, a native of the Philippines, was ordained in 2017 and has been studying in Italy for the past five years. He had been selected by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, to undertake theological studies for the priesthood at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he earned his STB (Bachelor of Sacred Theology) degree from Pontifical Gregorian University. He also earned a master's degree in Studies and Spirituality of Joseph Ratzinger from Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum and pursued his STL (spiritual theology) from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas. In addition, Santiago also holds a degree in philosophy from Fordham University. "He's much smarter than me," quipped Arlotta. "We are happy to have him as part of our family." Santiago's family lives in Pandi, Bulacan, Philippines. His father, Reynaldo, is a member of the Knights of Columbus, and his late mother, Norma, was a member of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate. He also has a brother, Raymond, and a sister, Eleanor Raymundo. Santiago had been discerning a call to the priesthood since 2003, when he began to visit the Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in Manhattan. He said that he attended mass regularly and prayed the rosary daily, experiencing a slow but steady development and growth religiously and spiritually. "The encounter of different discernment stories and knowledge of different cultures deepened my faith," said Santiago. "Christ is truly present and the same in all of us and everywhere. His love toward his people is truly personal and universal." - Roger Gavan